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BX  9A22  .G5   ,   ^   ^^^^ 
Girardeau,  John  L.  1825- 


Calvinism  and  evangelical 












W.   J.    DUFFIE. 




Copyright,  1890, 






Introductory  Remarks 9 

Sect.  I.    Doctrine  of  Election  Stated  and  Proved  .      14 
II.    Doctrine  of  Reprobation  Stated  and  Proved.  161 

III.  Objections   from  the  Morai.  Attributes   of 

God  Answered 178 

Preliminary  Remarks 178 

From  Divine  Justice 184 

From  Divine  Goodness 274 

From  Divine  Wisdom 325 

From  Divine  Veracity 334 

IV.  Objections  from  the  Moral,  Agency  of  Man 

Answered  .....       394 

Transitional,  Observations 4^3 


iv  Contents. 


Sect.  I.    Cai^vinistic  Doctrine  of  Justification  Stated.  417 
II.    Ground  of  Justification 423 

III.  Nature  of  Justification 482 

IV.  .  Condition  of  Justification 522 


During  the  temporary  occupation  of  the  pulpit 
of  the  First  Presbyterian  Church  in  this  city,  a  few 
years  ago,  some  of  the  young  members  of  that  church 
requested  me  to  instruct  a  Bible-class,  on  Sabbath 
nights,  in  the  distinctive  doctrines  of  the  Calvinistic 
faith.  A  large  number  were  enrolled,  and  the  un- 
derstandincr  was  that  the  members  of  the  class  would 
be  entitled  to  a  free  interrogation  of  the  instructor. 
Unexpectedly,  from  the  very  first,  a  large  promiscu- 
ous congregation  attended,  and  the  liberty  to  ask 
questions  was  used  by  outsiders,  the  design  appearing 
to  be  to  start  difficulties  rather  than  to  seek  light, 
and  to  convert  the  exercise  into  a  debate.  To  avoid 
this  result,  and  to  treat  objections  in  a  more  logical 
and  orderly  manner  than  was  possible  in  extempor- 
ized replies  to  the  scattering  fire  of  miscellaneous 
inquiries,  resort  ere-long  was  had  to  written  lectures. 
Notwithstanding  this  change,  the  attendance  and 
the  interest  suffered  no  abatement,  but  rather  in- 
creased— a  fact  which  seemed  to  militate  against  the 
common  opinion  that  doctrinal  discussions  would 
prove  dry  and  unacceptable  to  a  popular  audience. 
The  lectures,  which  were  prepared  not  without  pains- 
taking labor,  suggested  the  production  of  a  formal 
treatise  on  the  subjects  which  had  occupied  all  the 
available  time — namely.  Election  and  Reprobation, 
with  special  reference  to  the  Evangelical  Arminian 
theology.     This  was  done,   and  a  discussion  of  the 


vi  Preface. 

doctrine  of  Justification,  in  relation  to  that  theology, 
was  added. 

Another  reason  which  conduced  to  the  preparation 
of  this  work  was  the  conviction  that  there  is  room 
for  it.  A  distinguished  writer  has  remarked,  that 
one  who  solicits  the  attention  of  the  public  by  pub- 
lishing a  book  should  have  something  to  say  which 
had  not  been  said  before.  This  opinion,  no  doubt, 
needs  qualification;  but  it  applies,  to  some  extent,  in 
the  present  instance.  The  ground  covered  by  the 
controversy  between  Calvinists  and  Evangelical  Ar- 
minians  has  not  been  completely  occupied.  John 
Owen's  "Display  of  Arminianism,"  and  similar 
works  of  the  Puritan  period,  antedated  the  rise  of 
Evangelical  Arminianism.  Jonathan  Edwards  was  a 
contemporary  of  John  Wesley.  Principal  Hill's  com- 
parison of  Calvinism  and  Arminianism  had  reference 
mainly  to  the  Remonstrant  system,  as  developed  by 
Episcopius  and  Curcellseus,  Grotius  and  Limborch. 
The  same  is,  in  a  measure,  true  of  Principal  Cun- 
ningham's comparative  estimate  of  Calvinism  and 
Arminiauism  in  his  Historical  Theology.  The  com- 
parative treatment  of  Calvinism  and  modern,  Evan- 
gelical Arminianism,  contained  in  works  on  Syste- 
matic Theology  composed  in  recent  times,  are,  how- 
ever able,  necessarily  brief  and  somewhat  meagre. 
Such  works  as  those  of  Green,  Annan  and  Fairchild 
hardly  profess  to  be  severely  analytical  or  exhaustive 
of  any  one  topic.  Dr.  N.  L.  Rice's  "God  Sovereign 
and  Man  Free,"  although  a  valuable  discussion,  is 
brief,  and  leaves  much  to  be  said  even  in  regard  to 
the  question  it  handles.  There  seemed,  therefore, 
to   be   room    for   further   discussion   concerning    the 

Preface,  vii 

relative  merits  of  Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Armin- 
ianisni,  and  it  is  hoped  that  the  present  attempt  will 
not  be  considered  arrogant  on  the  ground  of  being 

Still  another  incentive  leading  to  the  production  of 
this  volume  has  been  furnished  by  the  taunt  ever  and 
anon  issuing  from  Arminian  sources  that  "Calvinism 
is  dying, ^'  and  the  sneering  intimation  of  recent 
works — Dr.  Miner  Raymond's  "Systematic  Theol- 
ogy," for  example — that  but  few  people  of  sense 
now  pretend  to  hold  some  of  its  peculiar  and  mon- 
strous tenets.  An  honest  indignation  justifies  the 
disproof  of  such  contemptuous  allegations  ;  and,  how- 
ever inadequate  may  be  the  present  defence  of  the 
venerable  theology  thus  belittled,  it  is  prompted  by 
the  profound  conviction  that  the  system  known  as 
Calvinism  expresses  the  faith  of  martyrs,  confessors 
and  reformers,  the  faith  in  which  the  majority  of 
Christ's  true  people  have  lived  and  died  ;  that  it  is 
the  truth  of  God  ;  and  that,  instead  of  dying,  it  is  as 
immortal  as  that  Inspired  Word  which  liveth  and 
abideth  forever.  If  opponents  deem  it  to  be  dying, 
and  imagine  that  they  can  hasten  its  coveted  disso- 
lution, they  will  find  its  supposed  dying-chamber  an 
arena  of  vigorous  contest,  and  its  fancied  death-bed 
a  redoubt  that  neither  they  nor  the  powers  of  hell 
can  carry  by  storm. 

The  work  does  not  assume  to  cover  the  whole  field 
of  the  controversy  of  which  it  treats,  to  discuss  artic- 
ulately all  the  distinctive  views  of  the  systems  com- 
pared. It  is  its  purpose  to  bring  out  their  radical 
and  controlling  principles,  in  themselves  and  in  tjieir 
necessary  connections,   to  confront  them   with  each 

viii  Preface. 

other,  and  to  subject  them  to  a  searching  examina- 

I  have  endeavored  to  write  in  a  calm  and  dispas- 
sionate temper,  consistent  with  sincere,  brotherly 
love  to  those  of  God's  people  from  whose  views  I 
differ ;  and,  in  submitting  the  results  of  long  reflec- 
tion, embodied  in  this  volume,  to  the  judgment  of 
candid  readers,  I  invoke  for  them  a  like  calm  and 
dispassionate  consideration. 

The  work  is  humbly  committed  to  Him  whose 
truth  it  professes  to  vindicate,  with  the  prayer  that 
He  will  deign  to  employ  it  for  His  glory  and  the 
good  of  His  Church.  Especially  would  I  be  grate- 
ful, if  He  would  be  pleased  to  use  it  for  arresting, 
at  least  in  some  degree,  the  tendency  now  manifested 
on  the  part  of  some  professed  Calvinists  seriously  to 
modify  the  doctrines  of  the  Calvinistic  Symbols. 

C01.UMBIA,  S.  C. ,  Jan.  18^  i8go. 




PART   I. 


Predestination,  in  the  Scriptures  and  in  theo- 
logical treatises,  has  two  senses — one  wide  or  general, 
the  other  narrow  or  special.  In  the  wide  or  general 
sense,  it  signifies  the  decrees  of  God,  terminating 
either  efficiently  or  permissively  on  all  beings,  acts  and 
events.  The  universe,  intelligent  and  unintellig-ent, 
is  its  object.  It  is  the  plan  in  accordance  with  which 
God  creates  and  governs  all  finite  beings,  and  all 
their  properties  and  actions.  In  the  narrow  or  special 
sense,  it  signifies  the  decrees  of  God,  terminating  on 
the  destinies  of  intelligent,  moral  beings — angels  and 
men.  In  a  still  more  restricted  sense,  it  signifies  the 
decrees  of  God  terminating  on  the  destinies  of  men. 
In  this  last  sense,  predestination  is,  by  Calvinistic 
theologians,  regarded  as  a  generic  decree  including 
under  it  Election  and  Reprobation  as  specific  decrees: 


lo       Calvinism  and  Eva7igelical  Arminianism. 

the  former  predestinating  some  human  beings,  with- 
out regard  to  their  merit,  to  salvation,  in  order  to  the 
glorificationof  God's  sovereign  grace  ;  the  latter  fore- 
ordaining some  human  beings,  for  their  sin,  to  de- 
struction, in  order  to  the  glorification  of  God's  retri- 
butive justice. 

The  design  of  the  First  Part  of  this  discussion  is 
the  exposition  and  defence  of  the  Calvinistic  doc- 
trines of  Election  and  Reprobation  ;  special  reference 
being  had  to  the  objections  advanced  against  them 
by  the  Evangelical  Arminian  Theology,  which  will 
be  put  upon  trial  and  summoned  to  answer  for  the 
difficulties  inherent  in  itself  This  special  examina- 
tion of  that  theology  is  warranted  upon  two  grounds, 
— first,  because  it  proposes  to  found  its  proofs  directly 
upon  the  Scriptures,  and  is  on  that  account  the  most 
formidable,  as  it  is  the  most  obtrusive,  assailant  of 
the  Calvinistic  scheme  ;  secondly,  because  there  is  a 
demand  in  our  own  times  for  a  careful  consideration 
of  the  Evangelical  Arminian  doctrines,  as  differing 
in  some  respects  from  those  of  the  Remonstrants,  and 
as  now  having  had  sufficient  opportunity  to  develop 
themselves  into  a  coherent  and  peculiar  theological 
system,  commanding  the  suffrages  of  a  large  section 
of  the  Church  of  Christ.  Did  the  present  school  of 
Arminians  precisely  coincide  in  doctrine  with  that 
earlier  one  which  articulated  its  theology  in  opposi- 
tion to  the  Synod  of  Dort,  it  might  well  be  regarded 
as  a  superfluous  office  to  subject  its  views  to  a  partic- 
ular examination.  But  the  systeui  of  Wesley  and 
Watson  is  not  identical  with  that  of  Episcopius  and 
Limborch  ;  and  the  polemic  treatises  of  the  seven- 
teenth   and  eighteenth  centuries  are    not   altogether 

Introductory  Remarks.  ii 

suited   to  meet  the  present  phases  of  the  Arminian 

Ill  addition  to  these  considerations  it  deserves  to  be 
noticed,  that  at  the  time  of  the  Remonstrant  contro- 
versy the  defenders  of  Calvinism  swung  between  the 
Supralapsarian  and  Sublapsarian  methods  of  conceiv- 
ing the  divine  decrees.  Francis  Junius,  for  instance, 
in  his  discussion  with  James  Arminius,  on  Predesti- 
nation, endeavored  to  vindicate  both  these  modes  of 
viewing  the  decrees  as  reducible  to  unity  upon  the 
same  doctrine.  This  placed  him  at  a  disadvantage 
which  was  observed  by  the  keen  eye  of  his  subtle 
antagonist,  and  employed  against  him  not  without 
considerable  effect.  And  wdiile  the  Synod  of  Dort 
was  Sublapsarian,  it  so  happened  that  the  chief  oppo- 
nents of  the  Remonstrants  were  pronounced  Supralap- 
sarians  ;  as,  for  example,  Gomarus,  Voetius,  Twisse, 
and  Perkins.  The  natural  result  was,  that  the  type 
of  doctrine  which  the  Arminian  divines  felt  called 
upon  to  attack  was  the  Supralapsarian.  To  this  day, 
the  objections  urged  by  Arminians  against  the  Cal- 
vinistic  doctrine  of  decrees  are  mainly  directed  against 
the  Supralapsarian  and  Necessitarian  theories.  But 
it  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  doctrines  of  Cal- 
vinism have  been  always  more  or  less  cast  in  the 
mould  of  Sublapsarianism.  They  have  had  a  definite 
development,  according  to  that  type,  in  the  Symbolic 
P'ormularies  of  the  Reformed  Church,  and  in  the 
works  of  representative  theologians.  This  frees  the 
Calvinist  from  the  embarrassment  resulting  from  the 
attempt  to  defend  differing  and  incongruous  views  of 
the  divine  decrees,  and  gives  him  the  advantage  of 
appealing  to  the  Calvinistic  standards,  as  being  either 

12       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

implicitly  or  explicitly  Sublapsarian  in  their  utter- 

The  charge  has  been  frequently  made  that  the  Cal- 
vinistic  apologists  of  later  times  have  modified  the 
severer  aspects  of  their  system  under  the  pressure  of 
controversy.  This  is  a  mistake.  It  has  arisen  from 
the  persistent  determination  of  Arminian  writers  to 
take  Supralapsarianism  and  Necessitarianism  as  sym- 
bolic Calvinism.  When,  therefore,  the  true  expo- 
nents of  Calvinism  defend  their  system  from  another 
point  of  view,  they  are  twitted  with  compromising 
the  Calvinistic  system.  But  surely  the  Calvinistic 
Confessions  and  the  views  of  the  vast  majority  of 
Calvinistic  divines  ought,  by  fair  adversaries,  to  be 
construed  as  representatives  of  the  system.  Did  the 
Calvinist  treat  the  Wesleyan  Arminian  doctrines  as 
identical  with  the  Remonstrant,  would  not  the 
blunder  be  exposed  and  the  injustice  resented? 

It  is  not  intended  to  imply  that  Arminians  have 
always  correctly  represented  the  position  of  the 
Supralapsarians.  On  the  contrary,  the  affirmation  of 
the  latter,  that  God  dooms  men  to  punishment  for 
their  sin^  has  seldom  had  due  consideration  given  it 
by  Arminian  writers.  This  only  makes  the  charge 
of  injustice  in  the  conduct  of  the  controversy  all  the 
graver,  since  not  only  the  views  of  Supralapsarians, 
but  their  misapprehended  views,  are  attributed  by  the 
mass  of  Arminian  controversialists  to  Sublapsarian 

In  this  discussion,  the  Sublapsarian  view  of  the 
divine  decrees  will  be  adhered  to,  under  the  convic- 
tion that  it  is  characteristic  of  the  system  of  doctrine 
stated   in   all   of  the  Calvinistic   Confessions   which 

Introductory  Remarks.  13 

speak  definitely  on  the  question,  and  maintained  by 
the  great  majority  of  Calvinistic  theologians. 

The  treatment  of  the  subject  will  be  distributed 
into  the  following  sections:  First,  the  doctrine  of 
Election,  stated  and  proved ;  Secondly,  the  doctrine 
of  Reprobation,  stated  and  proved  ;  Thirdly,  Objec- 
tions to  these  doctrines,  derived  from  the  Moral  At- 
tributes of  God,  answered ;  Fourthly,  Objections 
derived  from  the  Moral  Agency  of  man,  answered. 



In  order  to  secure  clearness  and  to  prevent  mis- 
apprehension in  regard  to  the  issues  involved,  state- 
ments of  the  doctrine  of  election  by  the  prominent 
Calvinistic  Confessions  will  be  furnished,  and  also 
representations  of  that  doctrine  from  Evangelical 
Arminian  sources  of  high  authority.  The  Calvinistic 
doctrine  will  then  be  analyzed  into  its  constituent 
elements,  their  scriptural  proofs  exhibited,  and  the 
questions  between  Calvinists  and  Evangelical  Armin- 
ians  in  regard  to  those  points  will  be  discussed. 

The  statement  of  the  doctrine  of  election  by  the 
Westminster  Confession  is  as  follows:  "By  the 
decree  of  God,  for  the  manifestation  of  his  glory,  some 
men  .    .    .  are  predestinated  unto  everlasting  life. 

"These  men  .  .  .  thus  predestinated  .  .  .  are  par- 
ticularly and  unchangeably  designed  ;  and  their 
number  is  so  certain  and  definite  that  it  cannot  be 
either  increased  or  diminished. 

"Those  of  mankind  that  are  predestinated  unto 
life.  God,  before  the  foundation  of  the  world  was  laid, 
according  to  his  eternal  and  immutable  purpose,  and 
the  secret  counsel  and  good  pleasure  of  his  will,  hath 
chosen  in  Christ,  unto  everlasting  glory,  out  of  his 
mere  free  grace  and  love,   without  any  foresight  of 


Election  Stated  and  Proved.  15 

faith,  or  good  works,  or  perseverance  in  either  of 
them,  or  any  other  thing  in  the  creatnre,  as  condi- 
tions, or  canses  moving  him  therennto ;  and  all  to 
the  praise  of  his  glorions  grace. 

"As  God  hath  appointed  the  elect  unto  glory,  so 
hath  he,  by  the  eternal  and  most  free  purpose  of  his 
will,  fore-ordained  all  the  means  thereunto.  Where- 
fore they  who  are  elected  being  fallen  in  Adam,  are 
redeemed  by  Christ,  are  effectually  called  unto  faith 
in  Christ  by  his  Spirit  working  in  due  season  ;  are 
justified,  adopted,  sanctified,  and  kept  by  his  power 
through  faith  unto  salvation."^ 

The  Westminster  Larger  Catechism  says:  "God, 
by  an  eternal  and  immutable  decree,  out  of  his  mere 
love,  for  the  praise  of  his  glorious  grace,  to  be  mani- 
fested in  due  time,  hath  elected  some  angels  to  glory; 
and,  in  Christ,  hath  chosen  some  men  to  eternal  life, 
and  the  means  thereof 

"God  doth  not  leave  all  men  to  perish  in  the  estate 
of  sin  and  misery,  into  which  they  fell  by  the  breach 
of  the  first  covenant,  commonly  called  the  covenant 
of  works ;  but  of  his  mere  love  and  mercy  delivereth 
his  elect  out  of  it,  and  bringeth  them  into  an  estate 
of  salvation  by  the  second  covenant,  commonly  called 
the  covenant  of  grace. " 

"The  covenant  of  grace  was  made  with  Christ  as 
the  second  Adam,  and  in  him  with  all  the  elect  as 
his  seed."  ^ 

The  Westminster  Shorter  Catechism  :  "God,  hav- 
ing out  of  his  mere  good  pleasure,  from  all  eternity, 
elected  some  to  everlasting  life,  did  enter  into  a  cov- 
enant of  grace,  to  deliver  them  out  of  the  estate  of 
^  Ch.  III.     Sec.  iv.  -^Questions  30,  31. 

1 6       Calvi7iism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

sin  and  misery,  and  to  bring  them  into  an  estate  of 
salvation  by  a  Redeemer. ' '  ^ 

What  follows  is  a  part  of  the  utterance  of  the  Synod 
of  Dort :  "The  cause,  or  fault,  of  this  unbelief"  [i.  e. 
in  Christ],  "as  of  all  other  sins,  is  in  no  wise  in  God, 
but  in  man.  But  faith  in  Jesus  Christ,  and  salvation 
through  him,  is  the  free  gift  of  God. 

"But  whereas,  in  process  of  time,  God  bestoweth 
faith  on  some,  and  not  on  others,  this  proceeds  from 
his  eternal  decree. 

"Now,  election  is  the  unchangeable  purpose  of 
God,  by  which,  before  the  foundation  of  the  world, 
according  to  the  most  free  pleasure  of  his  will,  and 
of  his  mere  grace,  out  of  all  mankind — fallen,  through 
their  own  fault,  from  their  first  integrity  into  sin  and 
destruction — he  hath  chosen  in  Christ  unto  salvation 
a  set  number  of  certain  men,  neither  better  nor  more 
worthy  than  others,  but  lying  in  the  common  misery 
with  others ;  which  Christ  also  from  all  eternity  he 
appointed  the  Mediator,  and  head  of  all  the  elect,  and 
foundation  of  salvation.  And  so  he  decreed  to  give 
them  to  him  to  be  saved,  and  by  his  Word  and  Spirit 
effectually  to  call  and  draw  them  to  a  communion 
with  him :  that  is,  to  give  them  a  true  faith  in  him, 
to  justify,  sanctify,  and  finally  glorify  them,  being 
mightily  kept  in  the  communion  of  his  Son,  to  the 
demonstration  of  his  mercy,  and  the  praise  of  the 
riches  of  his  glorious  grace. 

"This  said  election  was  made,  not  upon  foresight 

of  faith,  and  the  obedience  of  faith,  holiness,  or  of 

any  other  good  quality  or  disposition,  as  a  cause  or 

condition  before  required  in  man  to  be  chosen  ;  but 

^  Quest.  20. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  ij 

unto  faith,  and  the  obedience  of  faith,  holiness,  etc. 
And  therefore  election  is  the  fountain  of  all  saving 
good,  from  whence  faith,  holiness,  and  the  residue  of 
saving  gifts,  lastly  everlasting  life  itself,  do  flow,  as 
the  fruits  and  effects  thereof. 

''The  true  cause  of  this  free  election  is  the  good 
pleasure  of  God  ;  not  consisting  herein,  that,  from 
among  all  possible  means,  he  chose  some  certain 
qualities,  or  actions,  of  men,  as  a  condition  of  salva- 
tion ;  but  herein,  that  out  of  the  common  multitude 
of  sinners  he  culled  out  to  himself,  for  his  own  pecu- 
liar" [possession]  "some  certain  persons. 

"And  as  God  himself  is  most  wise,  unchangeable, 
omniscient,  and  omnipotent,  so  the  election  made  by 
him  can  neither  be  interrupted  nor  changed,  revoked 
or  disannulled,  nor  the  elect  cast  away,  nor  their 
number  diminished."  ^ 

The  Second  Helvetic  Confession  says:  "God  hath 
from  the  beginning  freely,  and  of  his  mere  grace, 
without  any  respect  of  men,  predestinated  or  elected 
the  saints,  whom  he  will  save  in  Christ."^ 

The  French  Confession:  "We  believe  that  out  of 
this  universal  corruption  and  damnation,  wherein  by 
nature  all  men  are  drowned,  God  did  deliver  and  pre- 
serve some,  whom,  by  his  eternal  and  immutable 
counsel,  of  his  own  goodness  and  mercy,  without 
any  respect  of  their  works,  he  did  choose  in  Christ 
Jesus.  .  .  .  For  some  are  not  better  than  others,  till 
such  time  as  the  Lord  doth  make  a  difference,  accord- 
ing to  that  immutable  counsel  which  he  had  decreed 

^Judgment,  Arts.  5,  6,  7,  9,  10,  11  :  Hall's  Harm.  Prot.  Conf. 
'  Ch.  10,  Hall's  Harm. 

18      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

in  Christ  Jesus  before  the  creation  of  the  world : 
neither  was  any  man  able  by  his  own  strength  to 
make  an  entrance  for  himself  to  that  good,  seeing  that 
of  our  nature  we  cannot  have  so  much  as  on^  riglit 
motion,  affection,  or  thought,  till  God  do  freely  pre- 
vent us,  and  fashion  us  to  uprightness/^  * 

The  Belgic  Confession:  ''We  believe  that  God, 
after  that  the  whole  offspring  of  Adam  was  cast  head- 
long into  perdition  and  destruction,  through  the  de- 
fault of  the  first  man,  hath  declared  and  shewed 
himself  to  be  such  an  one,  as  he  is  indeed  ;  namely, 
both  merciful  and  just :  merciful,  by  delivering  and 
saving  those  from  condemnation  and  from  death, 
whom,  in  his  eternal  counsel,  of  his  own  free  good- 
ness, he  hath  chosen  in  Jesus  Christ  our  Lord,  with- 
out any  regard  at  all  to  their  works. ^^* 

The  Swiss  Form  of  Agreement  {Fomntla  Consensus 
Helvetica)',  '' Before  the  foundations  of  the  world 
were  laid,  God,  in  Christ  Jesus  our  Lord,  formed  an 
eternal  purpose,  in  which,  out  of  the  mere  good 
pleasure  of  his  will,  without  any  foresight  of  the  merit 
of  works  or  of  faith,  unto  the  praise  of  his  glorious 
grace,  he  elected  a  certain  and  definite  number  of 
men,  in  the  same  mass  of  corruption  and  lying  in  a 
common  blood,  and  so  corrupt  in  sin,  to  be,  in  time, 
brought  to  salvation  through  Christ  the  only  Sponsor 
and  Mediator,  and,  through  the  merit  of  the  same, 
by  the  most  powerful  influence  of  the  Holy  Spirit  re- 
generating, to  be  effectually  called,  regenerated,  and 
endued  with  faith  and  repentance.  And  in  such  wise 
indeed  did  God  determine  to  illustrate  his  glory,  that 
he  decreed,  first  to  create  man  in  integrity,  then  to 
^Art.  12,  Hall.  ""  Kx\..  i6/Hall. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  19 

permit  his  fall,  and  finally  to  pity  some  from  among 
the  fallen,  and  so  to  elect  the  same."  ^ 

To  these  statements  of  the  doctrine  may  be  added 
those  of  British  Episcopal  Churches,  for  the  reason 
that  they  are,  upon  this  point,  explicitly  Calvinistic. 

The  Seventeenth  Article  of  the  Church  of  England 
is  as  follows:  "Predestination  to  life  is  the  everlast- 
ing purpose  of  God,  whereby  (before  the  foundations 
of  the  world  were  laid)  he  hath  constantly  decreed  by 
his  counsel,  secret  to  us,  to  deliver  from  curse  and 
damnation  those  whom  he  hath  chosen  in  Christ  out 
of  mankind,  and  to  bring  them  by  Christ  to  everlast- 
ing salvation,  as  vessels  made  to  honour.  Wherefore 
they  be  endued  with  so  excellent  a  benefit  of  God,  be 
called  according  to  God's  purpose  by  his  Spirit  work- 
ing in  due  season  :  they  through  grace  obey  the  call- 
ing :  they  be  made  sons  of  God  by  adoption  :  they  be 
made  like  the  image  of  his  only-begotten  Son,  Jesus 
Christ :  they  walk  religiously  in  good  works :  and  at 
length,  by  God's  mercy,  they  attain  to  everlasting 

The  third  article  of  the  Church  of  Ireland  has  these 
words  :  "By  the  same  eternal  counsel,  God  hath  pre- 
destinated some  unto  life,  and  reprobated  some  unto 
death :  of  both  which  there  is  a  certain  number, 
known  only  to  God,  which  can  neither  be  increased 
nor  diminished.  ^ 

"Predestination  to  life  is  the  everlasting  purpose 
of  God,  whereby,  before  the  foundations  of  the  world 
were  laid,  he  hath  constantly  decreed  in  his  secret 

*  Can.  IV.,  Niemeyer,  p.  731. 

"^  Identical  with  the  Lambeth  Articles. 

20       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

counsel  to  deliver  from  curse  and  damnation  those 
whom  he  hath  chosen  in  Christ  out  of  mankind,  and 
to  bring  them  by  Christ  unto  everlasting  salvation, 
as  vessels  made  to  honour.  ^ 

"The  cause  moving  God  to  predestinate  unto  life 
is  not  the  foreseeing  of  faith,  or  perseverance,  or  good 
works,  or  of  any  thing  which  is  in  the  person  predes- 
tinated, but  only  the  good  pleasure  of  God  himself.  ^ 
For  all  things  being  ordained  for  the  manifestation 
of  his  glory,  and  his  glory  being  to  appear  both  in 
the  works  of  his  mercy  and  of  his  justice,  it  seemed 
good  to  his  heavenly  wisdom  to  choose  out  a  certain 
number,  towards  whom  he  would  extend  his  unde- 
served mercy,  leaving  the  rest  to  be  spectacles  of  his 

"Such  as  are  predestinated  unto  life  be  called  ac- 
cording unto  God's  purpose  (his  Spirit  working  in 
due  season),  and  through  grace  they  obey  the  calling, 
they  be  justified  freely,  they  be  made  sons  of  God  by 
adoption,  they  be  made  like  the  image  of  his  only- 
begotten  Son,  Jesus  Christ,  they  walk  religiously  in 
good  works,  and  at  length,  by  God's  mercy,  they 
attain  to  everlasting  felicity."^ 

Having  thus  sufficiently  given  the  doctrine  of  Cal- 
vinism in  regard  to  Election,  I  proceed  to  furnish 
that  of  Evangelical  Arminianism.  In  the  absence  of 
any  Symbolic  Articles  in  which  the  views  of  Evan- 
gelical Arminians  touching  the  doctrine  of  Election 
are  embodied,  *  reference  must  be  had  to  the  state - 

^  Same  as  the  English  Article. 
2  Same  as  Lambeth  Article. 
^Nearly  identical  with  English  Article. 

*  In  the  XXV.  Articles  of  the  Methodist   Episcopal  Church  in 
the  United  States,  the  topic  of  Election  is  omitted. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  21 

ments  of  those  who  are  accepted  by  theiu  as  represen- 
tative theologians. 

John  Wesley  thus  speaks  :  "The  Scripture  tells  us 
plainly  what  predestination  is  :  it  is  God's  fore-ap- 
pointing obedient  believers  to  salvation,  not  without, 
but  'according  to  his  foreknowledge'  of  all  their 
works  '  from  the  foundation  of  the  world.'  .  .  .  We 
may  consider  this  a  little  further.  God,  from  the 
foundation  of  the  world,  foreknew  all  men's  believ- 
ing or  not  believing.  And  according  to  this,  his  fore- 
knowledge, he  chose  or  elected  all  obedient  believers, 
as  such,  to  salvation." 

"  God  calleth  /Abraham  '  a  father  of  many  nations,' 
though  not  so  at  that  time.  He  calleth  Christ  'the 
Lamb  slain  from  the  foundation  of  the  world,'  though 
not  slain  till  he  was  a  man  in  the  flesh.  Even  so  he 
calleth  men  'elected  from  the  foundation  of  the 
world,'  though  not  elected  till  they  were  men  in  the 
flesh.  Yet  it  is  all  so  before  God,  who,  knowing  all 
things  from  eternity,  'calleth  things  that  are  not  as 
though  they  were.' 

"By  all  which  it  is  clear,  that  as  Christ  was  called 
'the  Lamb  slain  from  the  foundation  of  the  world,' 
and  yet  not  slain  till  some  thousand  years  after,  till 
the  day  of  his  death,  so  also  men  are  called  'elect 
from  the  foundation  of  the  world,'  and  yet  not  elected, 
perhaps,  till  some  thousand  years  after,  till  the  day 
of  their  conversion  to  God  .    .    . 

"If  the  elect  are  chosen  through  sanctification  of 
the  Spirit,  then  they  were  not  chosen  before  they 
were  sanctified  by  the  Spirit.  But  they  were  not 
sanctified  before  they  had  a  being.  It  is  plain,  then, 
neither  were  they  chosen  from  the  foundation  of  the 

22       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

world.  But  God  'calleth  things  that  are  not  as 
though  they  were.'  .    .    . 

"If  the  saints  are  chosen  to  salvation,  through 
believing  of  the  truth  .  .  .  they  were  not  chosen  be- 
fore they  believed  ;  much  less  before  they  had  a 
being,  any  more  than  Christ  was  slain  before  he  had 
a  being.  So  plain  is  it  that  they  were  not  elected  till 
they  believed,  although  God  'calleth  things  that  are 
not  as  though  they  were.'  .    .    . 

"It  is  plain  the  act  of  electing  is  in  tiine^  though 
known  of  God  before  ;  who  according  to  his  knowl- 
edge, often  speaketh  of  the  things  '  which  are  not  as 
though  they  were.'  And  thus  is  the  great  stumbling 
block  about  election  taken  away,  that  men  may 
'make  their  calling  and  election  sure.'  "^ 

In  another  place,  Wesley  says:  "But  do  not  the 
Scriptures  speak  of  election  ?  .  .  .  You  cannot  there- 
fore deny  there  is  such  a  thing  as  election.  And  if 
there  is,  what  do  you  mean  by  it? 

"I  will  tell  you  in  all  plainness  and  simplicity.  I 
believe  it  commonly  means  one  of  these  two  things  ; 
first,  a  divine  appointment  of  some  particular  men,  to 
do  some  particular  work  in  the  world.  And  this 
election  I  believe  to  be  not  only  personal,  but  absolute 
and  unconditional  .    .    . 

"I  believe  election  means,  secondly,  a  divine  ap- 
pointment of  some  men  to  eternal  happiness.  But  I 
believe  this  election  to  be  conditional,  as  well  as  the 

^  These  extracts  are  taken  from  Wesley's  tract,  entitled,  The 
Scripture  Doctrine  concerning  Predestination,  Election  and  Re- 
proljation  :  Works,  vol.  ix.,  pp.  421,  422,  New  York  Ed.,  1S27.  It 
is  incorporated  into  the  Doctrinal  Tracts  published  b}-  order  of  the 
General  Conference  of  the  Meth.  E.  Church. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved,  23 

reprobation  opposite  thereto.  I  believe  the  eternal 
decree  concerning  both  is  expressed  in  these  words, 
*  He  that  believeth  shall  be  saved  :  he  that  believeth 
not  shall  be  damned.'  And  this  decree  without  doubt 
God  will  not  change,  and  man  cannot  resist  Ac- 
cording to  this  all  true  believers  are  in  Scripture 
termed  elect  .    .    . 

**God  calleth  true  believers  *elect  from  the  founda- 
tion of  the  world,'  although  they  were  not  actually 
elect  or  believers  till  many  ages  after,  in  their  several 
generations.  Then  only  it  was  that  they  were  ac- 
tually elected,  when  they  were  made  the  *sons  of  God 
by  faith.'  .    .    . 

'*This  election  I  as  firmly  believe  as  I  believe  the 
Scripture  to  be  of  God.  But  unconditional  election  I 
cannot  believe  ;  not  only  because  I  cannot  find  it  in 
Scripture,  but  also,  (to  waive  all  other  considerations,) 
because  it  necessarily  implies  unconditional  reproba- 
tion. Find  out  any  election  which  does  not  imply 
reprobation,  and  I  will  gladly  agree  to  it.  But  repro- 
bation I  can  never  agree  to,  while  I  believe  the  Scrip- 
ture to  be  of  God  :  as  being  utterly  irreconcilable  to 
the  whole  scope  of  the  Old  and  New  Testament."  ^ 

'HVhat  do  you  mean  by  the  word  Election?  ...  I 
mean  this.  God  did  decree  from  the  beginning  to 
elect  or  choose  (in  Christ)  all  that  should  believe  to 
salvation."  ^ 

''Irresistible  Grace  and  Infallible  Perseverance  are 
the  natural  consequence  of  the  former,  the  uncondi- 

^  Works,  vol.  9,  pp.  381,  382,  New  York,  1827;  Predestinatian 
Calmly  Considered :  a  part  of  the  Doctrinal  Tracts  already  meu- 

^ Ibid.,  p.  435  :  A  Dialogue,  etc. 

24       Calvinism  aiid  Evajigelical  Arniinianism. 

tional  decree  ...  So  that,  in  effect,  the  three  ques- 
tions come  into  one,  Is  Predestination  absolute  or 
conditional  ?  The  Arminians  believe  it  is  condi- 
tional." ' 

Richard  Watson  thus  distributes  the  subject  of 
election:  "  Of  a  divine  election,  or  choosing  and  sep- 
aration from  others,  we  have  these  three  kinds  men- 
tioned in  the  Scriptures.  The  first  is  the  election 
of  individuals  to  perform  some  particular  and  special 
service.  .  ..  .  The  second  kind  of  election  which  we 
find  in  Scripture  is  the  election  of  nations^  or  bodies 
of  people,  to  eminent  religious  privileges,  and  in 
order  to  accomplish,  by  their  superior  illumination, 
the  merciful  purposes  of  God,  in  benefiting  other 
nations  or  bodies  of  people.  .  .  .  The  third  kind  of 
election  is  personal  election;  or  the  election  of  indi- 
viduals to  be  the  children  of  God  and  the  heirs  of 
eternal  life."  ^ 

In  regard  to  the  last-mentioned  aspect  of  election — 
that  which  is  in  dispute — he  says  :  "What  true  per- 
sonal election  is,  we  shall  find  explained  in  two  clear 
passages  of  Scripture.  It  is  explained  negatively  by 
our  Lord,  where  he  says  to  his  disciples,  '  I  have 
chosen  you  out  of  the  world';  it  is  explained  posi- 
tively by  St.  Peter,  when  he  addresses  his  first  epistle 
to  the  'elect,  according  to  the  foreknowledge  of  God 
the  Father,  through  sanctification  of  the  Spirit,  unto 
obedience  and  sprinkling  of  the  blood  of  Jesus.'  To 
be  elected,  therefore,  is  to  be  separated  from  'the 
world,'  and  to  be  sanctified  by  the  Spirit,  and  by  the 
blood  of  Christ. 

^  Ibid.,  p.  475  :    What  is  an  Anniniaii  ?  Ansiuered. 

2  Thcol.  Institutes,  vol.  ii.,  pp.  307,  308,  337,  New  York,  1840. 

Election  Stated  aiid  Proved.  25 

''It  follows,  then,  tliat  election  is  not  only  an  act 
of  God  done  in  time  ;  bnt  also  that  it  is  snbseqnent  to 
the  administration  of  the  means  of  salvation.     The 
'calling'   goes  before  the  'election';  the  pnblication 
of  the'doctrine  of  'the  Spirit,'  and  the  atonement, 
called  by  Peter  '  the  sprinkling  of  the  blood  of  Christ' 
before  that  '  sanctification,'   through  which  they  be- 
come   'the  elect'   of  God.     The  doctrine  of  ^/^r//^/ 
election  is  thus  brought  down  to  its  true  meaning. 
Actual  election  cannot  be  eternal  ;  for,  from  eternity, 
the  elect  were  not  actually  chosen  out  of  the  world, 
and  from  eternity  they  could  not  be  '  sanctified  unto 
obedience.'      The    phrases     'eternal    election,'     and 
'eternal   decree  of  election,'   so  often  in   the  lips  of 
Calvinists,    can,   in   common   sense,    therefore,   mean 
only  an  eternal  purpose  to  elect  ;  or  a  purpose  formed 
in  eternity,   to  elect,  or  choose  out  of  the  world,  and 
sanctify  in  time,    by   'the  Spirit   and    the   blood  of 
Jesus.'     This  is  a  doctrine  which  no  one  will  contend 
with   them  ;    but  when  they  graft  upon  it   another, 
that  God  hath,  from  eternity,  '  chosen  in  Christ  unto 
salvation  '  a  set  number  of  men,  '  certam  qnoriuidam 
hominiim  miiltitiidine7n  '—not  upon  foresight  of  faith 
and    the  obedience  of   faith,    holiness,    or  any  other 
good  quality  or  disposition  (as  a  cause  or  condition 
before  required  in  man  to  be  chosen);  but  unto  faith, 
and   the   obedience  of  faith,    holiness,    etc.,  'nan  ex 
prcEvisafide,  fideiqiie  obedieiitia,   sanctitate,   ant  aha 
aliqiia  bona  qualitate  et  dispositionc,'  etc.,  {Judgment 
of  the  Synod  0/ Dort,)  it   presents  itself  under  a  dif- 
ferent aspect,  and  requires  an  appeal  to  the  word  of 

God."  '  

^Ibid.,  vol.  ii.,  p.  33^- 

26       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Armiiiianism 


Without  further  definition  of  his  own  view,  Watson 
proceeds  to  argue  against  the  Calvinistic  doctrine. 

Dr.  Ralston  adopts  Watson's  threefold  distribution 
of  election — of  individuals  to  office,  of  communities 
to  religious  privileges,  of  individuals  to  eternal  life. 
In  regard  to  the  last  kind  he  says  :  "That  election 
of  this  personal  and  individual  kind  is  frequently  al- 
luded to  in  the  Scriptures,  is  admitted  by  Arminians 
as  well  as  Calvinists  ;  but  the  great  matter  of  dispute 
relates  to  the  sense  in  which  the  subject  is  to  be  un- 
derstood. Calvinists  say  that  this  election  is  '  from 
all  eternity  ; '  this  Arminians  deny,  except  so  far  as 
the  foreknowledge  or  purpose  of  God  to  elect  may  be 
termed  election.  ' 

So  far  for  his  view  as  to  the  temporal  origin  of 
election.  As  to  its  conditionality  he  thus  speaks  : 
"Before  the  election  in  question  can  exist,  there 
must  be  a  real  difference  in  the  objects  or  persons 
concerning  whom  the  choice  is  made.  Even  an  in- 
telligent creature  can  make  no  rational  choice  where 
no  supposed  difference  exists  ;  and  can  we  suppose 
that  the  infinite  God  will  act  in  a  manner  that  would 
be  justly  deemed  blind  and  irrational  in  man?  The 
thought  is  inadmissible.  ...  If  God  selects,  or 
chooses,  some  men  to  eternal  life  and  rejects  others, 
as  all  admit  to  be  the  fact,  there  must  be  a  good  and 
sufficient  reason  for  this  election." 

Now,  what  is  this  reason?  He  answers :  "Wear- 
rive  at  the  conclusion,  therefore,  that  however  dif- 
ferent  the    teachings   of  Calvinism,   if    one  man    is 

'  Elements  of  Divinity,  p.  289,  Nashville,  Teuu.,  1882.  This 
work  is  edited  by  Dr.  T.  O.  Summers,  aud  issued  by  the  Southern 
Methodist  Fublishin^i^  House. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  27 

elected  to  everlasting  life  and  another  consigned  to 
perdition,  it  is  not  the  resnlt  of  an  arbitrary,  capri- 
cions  and  nnreasonable  partiality,  but  accords  with 
reason,  equity,  and  justice,  and  is  a  glorious  display 
of  the  harmonious  perfections  of  God.  It  is  because 
the  one  is  good  and  the  other  bad  ;  the  one  is  right- 
eous and  the  other  unrighteous  ;  the  one  is  a  be- 
liever and  the  other  an  unbeliever ;  or  the  one  is 
obedient  and  the  other  rebellious.  These  are  the 
distinctions  which  reason,  justice,  and  Scripture 
recognize  ;  and  we  may  rest  assured  they  are  the  only 
distinctions  which  God  regards  in  electing  his  people 
to  glory,  and  sentencing  the  wicked  to  perdition."  ' 

Dr.  ]\Iiner  Raymond,  Professor  in  Garrett  Biblical 
Institute,  Illinois,  in  his  Systematic  Theology,  con- 
curs in  the  three-fold  distribution  of  election  already 
indicated,  but  differs  with  the  writers  who  have  been 
cited  in  regard  to  the  end  to  which  individuals  are 
savingly  elected.  They  make  it  eternal  life,  and  he 
a  contingent  salvation.  According  to  them,  election, 
being  conditional  upon  the  foresight  of  perseverance 
in  faith  and  holiness  to  the  end  of  life,  terminates  on 
an  assured  felicity  in  heaven  ;  according  to  him 
election,  being  conditioned  upon  the  foresight  of  only  1 
a  contingent  perseverance  in  faith  and  holiness,  I 
terminates  on  only  a  contingent  salvation.  Election 
is  not  to  eternal  life,  but  to  the  contingent  heirship 
of  eternal  life.      Let  us  hear  him  speak  for  himself: 

"A    third    use    of    the    terms     'elect,'    'elected,' 

'called,'  'chosen,'  and  other  terms  of  similar  import, 

is  found  in  the  Scriptures.      'Many  are  called,  but  few 

are  chosen.'      'Elect  according  to  the  foreknowledge 

^Ibid.,  pp.  291,  292,  293. 

28       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni, 

of  God  the  Father,  through  sanctificatioii  of  the  Spirit, 
unto  obedience  and  sprinkling  of  the  blood  of  Jesus.' 
Here,  evidently,  the  choosing  is  after  the  calling — 
that  is,  it  is  an  act  done  in  time.  The  election  is  by 
and  through  the  sanctification  of  the  Spirit ;  that  is, 
it  is  a  selection,  a  choosing  out  of  the  world,  a  sepa- 
ration from  the  world,  by  regeneration,  conversion, 
the  new  birth  ;  in  a  word,  when  God  justifies  a  sinner, 
regenerates  his  nature,  adopts  him  as  a  child  of  God, 
makes  him  an  heir  of  eternal  life,  he  thereby,  then 
and  there,  separates  him  from  the  sinners  of  the 
world — elects  him  to  be  his  child  and  an  heir  of 
eternal  life.  The  sinner,  by  this  election,  becomes  a 
saint,  an  elect  person,  and  is  frequently  so  called  in 
the  Scriptures. 

"This  election  is  almost  universally  spoken  of  as 
conditioned  upon  repentance  toward  God  and  faith  in 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  ;  and  if,  in  any  passages,  the 
condition  is  not  specifically  mentioned,  it  is  plainly 
implied.  If,  in  any  sense,  this  election  is  eternal,  it 
is  so  only  in  the  purpose  of  the  Divine  Being  to 
elect;  and  as  the  election  itself  is  conditioned  upon 

\  faith,  it  follows  that  the  eternal  purpose  to  elect  was 

■  based  upon  that  foreseen  faith.  .    .    . 

"Men  may  do  despite  unto  the  Spirit  of  grace  by 
which  they  have  been  sanctified.  Till  probation 
terminate.s,  final  destiny  is  a  contingency.  Two 
opposite  eternities  are  either  of  them  possible,  and 
the  question  is  decided,  never  by  any  thing  external 
to  the  man  himself,  but  by  his  own  free  choice,  aided 
by  the  grace  of  God. ' '  ' 

It  is  necessary  to  add  that  this  writer   makes  re- 
nvoi, ii.,  pp.  420,  423. 

Electio7t  Staled  and  Proved.  29 

generation  a  work,  jointly  wronght  by  divine  and 
human  agency,  and  holds  that,  in  the  order  of 
thought,  repentance  precedes  faith  and  faith  precedes 
regeneration.  The  question  being,  What  conditions 
salvation?  his  answer  is — and  it  deserves  special 
notice  as  indicative  of  the  developments  of  the  Evan- 
gelical Arminian  theology — "That  salvation  is  con- 
ditioned upon  man's  acceptance,  and  co-operation  by 
faith,  is  implied  in  all  the  commands,  precepts,  ex- 
hortations, admonitions,  entreaties,  promises,  and  • 
persuasions  of  the  Word  of  God  ;  and  such  passages 
as  the  following  are  equivalent  to  a  direct  affirmation 
that  man  determines  the  question  of  his  salvation  : 
*He  that  believeth  shall  be  saved;  he  that  believeth 
not  shall  be  damned,'  "  etc.  ^ 

It  may  be  asked,  why  Fletcher  has  not  been  pre- 
viously summoned  as  a  witness.  The  reason  is,  that 
the  definition  which  he  gives  of  election,  as  pertain- 
ing to  individual  salvation,  seems  to  be  somewhat 
peculiar  to  himself.  He  represents  it  as  of  two  kinds, 
one  an  election  to  initial  salvation,  conveying  a  tem- 
porary redemption, — which  is  unconditional  ;  the 
other  an  election  to  eternal  salvation, — which  is  con- 
ditioned upon  the  perseverance  of  the  believer  to  the 
end  of  the  day  of  initial  salvation.  "We  believe," 
says  he,  "that  Jesus  Christ  died  for  the  whole  human 
race,  with  an  intention  first,  to  procure  absolutely  and 
unconditionally  a  temporary  redemption,  or  an  initial 
salvation  for  all  men  universally  ;  and  secondly,  to 
procure  a  particular  redemption,  or  an  eternal  salva- 
tion cojtditionally  for  all  men,  but  absolutely  for  all 
that  die  in  their  infancy,  and  for  all  the  adult  who 
Wbid.,  pp.  358,  359.  . 

30       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

obey  him^  and  are  faithful  tinto  deaths  ^  The  state- 
ment is  eccentric  and  somewhat  confused,  but  agrees 
substantially  with  those  which  have  been  furnished. 

These  statements  of  the  Calvinistic  and  Evangel- 
ical Arminian  doctrines  of  election  having  been  fur- 
nished, the  way  is  open  for  an  analysis  of  the  Calvin- 
istic doctrine  into  its  component  elements,  and  the 
exhibition  of  the  scriptural  proofs  on  which  they  are 

It  is  resolvable  into  the  following  elements  :  first, 
its  author  or  efficient  cause  ;  secondly,  its  object,  in 
general  ;  thirdly,  its  objects,  in  particular  ;  fourthly, 
its  end  or  final  cause  ;  fifthly,  its  origin  ;  sixthly,  the 
love  which  it  involves  ;  and  seventhly,  its  ground  or 
reason.  This  order  of  statement  is  adopted,  not  be- 
cause it  is  deemed  most  logical,  but  because  it  is  de- 
sirable to  consider  last  the  features  of  the  subject  in 
regard  to  which  the  Calvinist  and  the  Evangelical 
Arminian  mainly  join  issue. 

>V  Before  these  points  are  considered,  it  is  proper  to 
^  premise,  that  in  this  discussion  there  is  no  intimation 
of  an  order  of  tinie^  as  obtaining  in  the  relation  to 
each  other  of  the  divine  decrees.  What  is  intended 
is  that  one  may  be  in  order  to  another,  in  this  sense — 
that  one  may  be  pre-supposed  by  another.  The  de- 
cree, for  instance,  to  permit  the  Fall  is  in  order  to,  or 
pre-supposed  by,  the  decree  to  provide  redemption  for 
sinners.  To  deny  such  an  order  as  this,  because  it 
appears  to  conflict  with  the  simplicity  and  immuta- 
bility of  an  Infinite  Being,  is  to  reject  all  difference 
and  distinction  between  the  acts  of  God,  and  to  reduce 
all  his  perfections  to  the  absolute  unity  of  his  essence; 
^  Works,  vol.  iii.,  pp.  435,  436:  London,  1815. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  31 

and  that  would  be  to  subvert  the  doctrine  of  the 
Trinity  itself.  We  are  obliged  to  conceive  an  order 
of  thought  or  nature  as  existing  in  the  divine  decrees. 
**What  divines,"  says  President  Edwards,  '^ intend  by 
prior  diW^  posterior  in  the  affair  of  God's  decrees,  is 
not  that  one  is  before  another  in  the  order  of  time,  for 
all  are  from  eternity  ;  but  that  we  must  conceive  the 
view  or  consideration  of  one  decree  to  be  before  an- 
other, inasmuch  as  God  decrees  one  thing  out  of  re- 
spect to  another  decree  that  he  has  made  ;  so  that  one 
decree  must  be  conceived  of  as  in  some  sort  to  be  the 
ground  of  another,  or  that  God  decrees  one  because 
of  another  ;  or  that  he  would  not  have  decreed  one, 
had  he  not  decreed  that  other."  ^  Then  follows  an 
argument  in  which  Edwards  powerfully  supports  this 
view.  ^' While,"  observes  Dr.  Thorn  well  on  the 
same  subject,  "owing  to  the  simplicity  and  eternity 
of  the  divine  nature,  there  cannot  be  conceived  in  God 
a  succession  of  time,  nor  consequently  various  and 
successive  decrees,  yet  we  may  justly  speak  of  his 
decrees  as  prior  or  posterior  in  point  of  nature."  * 
*'The  question,"  remarks  the  same  writer  in  another 
place,  "concerning  the  order  of  the  divine  decrees 
involves  something  more  than  a  question  of  logical 
method.  It  is  really  a  question  of  the  highest  moral 
significance.  The  order  of  a  thing  very  frequently 
determines  its  righteousness  and  justice.  Conviction 
and  hanging  are  parts  of  the  same  process,  but  it  is 
something  more  than  a  question  of  arrangement 
whether  a  man  shall  be  hung  before  he  is  convicted."  ^ 

^  Misc.  Observations  concerning  Divine  Decrees  and  E lection y 
I  58. 
^  Coll.   Writings,  vol.  ii.  p.  124. 
^  Ibid.,  vol.  ii.  p.  20. 

32       CalviJiism  and  Evangelical  Ajnmnianism. 

Corresponding  with  this  order  in  the  decrees  we 
must  conceive  also  an  order  in  the  exercises  and 
modes  of  the  divine  perfections — one  not  of  time,  but 
of  thought;  that  is,  the  exercise  of  one  divine  perfec- 
tion is  pre-supposed  by  that  of  another,  and  a  mode 
of  a  perfection  is  pre-supposed  by  another  mode  of  the 
same  perfection.  The  conceptions  of  the  divine  in- 
telligence, for  example,  must  be  considered  as  in  or- 
der to  the  exercises  of  the  divine  justice  and  love  and 
the  acts  of  the  divine  will.  The  view  which  God 
took  of  man  unfallen,  man  fallen,  and  man  to  be  re- 
deemed, was  in  order  to  those  exercises  of  justice  and 
love,  and  those  determinations  of  will,  which  were 
related  to  man  in  those  respective  conditions.  So 
also,  for  instance,  the  intrinsic  perfection  of  divine 
love  is  one,  but  it  may  exist  in  different  modes,  one 
of  which  is  pre-supposed  by  another.  The  benevo- 
lence of  God  towards  the  creatures  of  his  power  is 
pre-supposed  by  that  peculiar  love  which  has  for  its 
objects  those  who  are  redeemed  by  his  dear  Son  and 
imited  to  him  by  the  grace  of  his  Spirit. 

It  is  not  designed  to  say  that  one  mode  precedes 
another  which  in  an  order  of  time  did  not  previously 
exist.  The  modes  of  the  divine  love  are  co-eternal, 
and  their  appropriate  objects  were  eternally  before 
the  divine  mind.  When  tJie  objects  are  actually 
brought  into  existence,  no  new  modification  of  the 
love  of  God  occurs.  There  is  only  a  new  manifesta- 
tion of  his  love  which  exijsted  eternally.  And,  al- 
though the  subject  is  confessedly  difficult,  I  can  see 
no  just  reason  for  supposing  that  a  new  manifestation 
of  love  would  be  equivalent  to  a  new  modification  of 
that  attribute.     It  may  be  a  question,  whether  it  be 

Election  Stated  a) id  Proved. 


not  necessary  to  suppose  a  new  modification  of  the 
divine  will,  involved  in  the  determination  to  eff L-ct 
a  manifestation  of  love  which  had  not  previously 
been  made.  But  were  that  so — which  I  am  not  pre- 
pared to  admit  as  beyond  doubt — the  immutability 
of  the  divine  love,  even  as  to  its  modes,  would  not  be 
disproved,  unless  it  could  be  conclusively  shown  that 
the  love  of  God  is  one  and  the  same  with  the  will  of 
God  considered  as  determinative.  One  is  apt  to  think 
that  impossible,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  some 
eminent  theologians,  under  the  influence  of  the  old 
scholastic  distribution  of  the  mental  powers  into 
intelligence  and  will,  have  expressed  themselves  in 
favor  of  the  identity  of  the  divine  love  and  the  divine 
will  even  in  its  acts.  The  view  which  denies  an 
order  of  nature  in  the  divine  decrees  and  the  exer- 
cises of  the  divine  perfections,  on  the  ground  of  the 
simplicity  and  immutability  of  the  infinite  Being, 
cannot  be  adjusted  to  our  convictions  of  the  distinc- 
tion between  intelligence  and  will,  between  justice 
and  mercy,  between  benevolence  and  complacency. 
The  result  would  be  the  impersonal  infinite  substance 
of  the  Pantheist,  manifesting  itself  in  conformity 
with  a  law  of  blind  necessity.  And  yet  he  is  com- 
pelled by  the  patent  facts  of  observation  to  grant  that 
this  impersonal  substance  expresses  itself  diversely  in 
the  countless  differences  of  finite  existence.  But  the 
argument  is  not  with  the  Pantheist  :  it  lies  within 
the  limits  of  Christian  Theism.  It  is  enough  to 
point  out  the  fact  that  those  theologians  who  merge 
the  divine  love  into  the  acts  of  the  divine  will  have 
no  hesitation  in  afiirminof  a  difference  between  the 
intelligence  and  the  wnll  of  God.  Nor  would  they 

34       Calvi)iisj}i  and  Evangelical  Aj'niinianisnt. 

deny  that  the  conception  of  ends  by  tlie  divine  wis- 
dom is  pre-snpposed  by,  and  is  in  order  to,  the 
specific  determinations  of  the  divine  will.  It  is  no 
derogation  from  the  glory  of  the  ever-blessed  God  to 
say,  that  one  decree  is  in  order  to  another,  or  that 
the  exercise  of  one  perfection  is  in  order  to  the  exer- 
cise of  another.  With  these  preliminary  cautions  I 
proceed  to  develop  the  proofs  of  election. 

I.  The  Author  or  Efficient  Cause  of  Election — God. 
This  answers  the  question,  Who  elects  ? 

Eph.  i.  4:  "According  as  he  hath  chosen  us  in 
him" — that  is,  accordinQf  as  God  the  Father  has 
chosen  us  in  Christ.  This  meaninQf  of  the  words  is 
determined  by  the  immediately  preceding  verse : 
"Blessed  be  the  God  and  Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  who  hath  blessed  us  with  all  spiritual  bless- 
ings in  heavenly  places  in  Christ."  The  doctrine  is 
here  taught  that  God  the  Father,  as  the  representa- 
tive of  the  Trinity,  is  the  author  of  the  electing  de- 
cree. From  his  bosom  the  scheme  of  redemption 

2  Thess.  ii.  13  :  "  Rut  we  are  bound  to  give  thanks 
always  to  God  for  you,  brethren  beloved  of  the  Lord, 
because  God  hath  from  tlie  beginning  chosen  you  to 

I  Thess.  V.  9  :  "For  God  hath  not  appointed  us  to 
wrath,  but  to  obtain  salvation  by  our  Lord  Jesus 

These  passages  are  sufficient  to  prove,  beyond 
doubt,  that  God,  and  God  alone,  is  the  author  or  effi- 
cient cause  of  election.  This  the  Evangelical  Ar- 
minian  professes  to  acknowledge,  not  only  with 
regard    to    the    election    of  communities  to  peculiar 

Eleclion  Stated  and  Proz'cd.  35 

privileges,  but  also  to  that  of  individuals  to  salvation. 
But  if  it  be  true  that,  according  to  his  system,  the 
will  of  man  is  the  ultimate,  determining  cause  of  his 
choice  of  salvation,  it  follows  inevitably  that  man  and 
not  God  is  the  efficient  cause  of  election.  That  man 
determines  the  question  of  his  salvation,  we  have 
seen,  by  a  citation  from  his  Systematic  Theology, 
that  Dr.  IMiner  Raymond  expressly  asserts.  '  But  if 
this  be  regarded  as  an  individual  opinion  which  can- 
not be  considered  representative  of  the  system,  I  shall 
endeavor,  in  the  prosecution  of  the  argument  under 
another  head,  to  prove  that  what  he  candidly  avows 
is  the  logical  result  of  the  principles  which  he  holds 
in  common  with  his  school.  And  should  the  proof 
be  fairly  exhibited,  it  will  be  evinced  that  the  Evan- 
gelical Arminian  theology  stumbles  upon  the  very 
threshold  of  the  scriptural  doctrine  of  election.  It  is 
one  thinof  to  sav  that  God  is  the  author  of  a  scheme 
of  redemption,  involving  the  accomplishment  of  a 
universal  atonement  and  the  bestowal  of  universal 
grace,  and  quite  another  to  say  that  he  is  the  author 
of  the  election  of  sinners  to  salvation.  The  former 
the  Arminian  affirms  ;  the  latter  he  is  logically  bound 
to  deny. 

2.  The  Object^  in  gene7'al^  of  election — man  consid- 
ered as  fallen  and  7'uined.  This  answers  the  ques- 
tion, Upon  what  did  election  terminate? 

Rom.  V.  8:  "God  commendeth  his  love  toward  us, 
in  that,  while  we  were  yet  sinners,  Christ  died  for  lis." 

Eph.   i.   4:    "According  as   he  hath   chosen   us  in 

^  The  same  assertion  is  distinctly  made  by  Dr.  James  Stron<;,  in 
his  article  on  Arminianism  (Wesleyan),  in  the  SchafF-Herzog 

36       Calviiiisui  and  Evangelical  Arnilnlanisni. 

him  [that  is,  Christ],  before  the  foundation  of  the 

Ezek.  xvi.  6:  "And  when  I  passed  by  thee,  and 
saw  thee  poUuted  in  thine  own  blood,  I  said  unto  thee 
when  thou  wast  in  thy  blood.  Live  ;  yea,  I  said  unto 
thee  when  thou  wast  in  thy  blood.  Live." 

Rom.  ix.  21  :  "Hath  not  tlie  potter  power  over  the 
clay,  of  the  same  lump  to  make  one  vessel  unto 
honour,  and  another  unto  dishonour?" 

Upon  this  point  the  issue  is  between  the  Supralap- 
sarians  and  the  Sublapsarians.  Some  of  the  former 
contend  that  in  the  decree  of  election  man  was  viewed 
simply  as  creatable,  others,  that  he  was  contemplated 
as  created  but  not  fallen.  The  Sublapsarians  hold 
that  in  that  decree  man  was  regarded  as  fallen  and  cor- 
rupt.     In  favor  of  the  Sublapsarian  doctrine  I  urge — 

(i.)  The  Scriptural  argument. 

In  the  passage  cited  from  the  fifth  chapter  of  Rom- 
ans the  apostle  is  treating  of  the  security  of  those  who 
are  justified  through  faith  in  Christ.  His  argument 
is  drawn  from  the  love  of  God  towards  them.  The 
electing  love  of  God,  having  been  eternally  pitched 
upon  them  viewed  as  sinners  and  therefore  ill-deserv- 
ing, was  not  grounded  in  or  conditioned  upon  any 
good  quality  or  act  foreknown  to  pertain  to  them,  but 
issued  freely  from  his  bosom,  and,  from  the  nature  of 
the  case,  cannot  change  in  consequence  of  the  change- 
ableness  of  its  objects.  Having  loved  them  regarded 
simply  as  ungodly  sinners,  he  cannot  fail  to  love 
them  contemplated  as  reconciled  to  him  by  the  death 
of  his  Son.  It  is  evident  that  the  passage  teaches 
that  the  object  of  election  w^as  man  viewed  as  fallen 
and  s'nfuk 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  37 

When,  ill  the  passage  taken  from  the  first  chapter 
of  Ephesians,  tlie  apostle  declares  that  believers  were 
chosen  in  Christ  before  the  foundation  of  the  world, 
he  must  mean  that  they  were  elected  to  be  redeemed 
by  Christ,  appointed  as  their  Mediator  and  Federal 
Head  ;  and,  therefore,  it  is  necessarily  implied  that 
wdien  elected  they  were  conceived  as  ruined  by  sin. 

In  the  graphic  passage  quoted  from  the  sixteenth 
chapter  of  Ezekiel,  God,  under  the  figure  of  a  polluted, 
deserted,  helpless  infant  represents  the  object  of  his 
electinor  love  as  beino:  in  a  state  of  sin  and  miserv. 
The  description  cannot  have  reference  to  the  execu- 
tion of  the  electing  purpose  in  effectual  calling,  for 
the  palpable  reason  that  that  is  immediately  after  set 
forth  as  terminating  upon  the  same  infant  when  it  had 
arrived  at  marriageable  age.  It  is  curious  that  in  the 
attempt  to  make  this  and  other  statements  of  Scripture 
refer  to  the  temporal  execution  of  the  electing  pur- 
pose, the  great  Supralapsarian  Dr.  Twisse  and  the 
Arminians  are  at  one  wnth  each  other.  Extremes 
meet.  The  company  is  hardly  creditable  to  the  pro- 
fessed Calvinist. 

In  the  celebrated  passage  from  the  ninth  chapter  of 
Romans,  the  "lump"  must  refer  to  the  fallen  and 
corrupt  mass  of  mankind,  for — 

First,  Divine  mercy,  from  its  very  nature,  cannot 
terminate  upon  any  other  than  an  ill-deserving  and 
miserable  object.  Those  who  are  chosen  out  of  the 
mass  are  denominated  "vessels  of  mercy."  IMercy 
proposes  to  save  its  objects,  and  none  can  be  consid- 
ered susceptible  of  salvation  but  those  who  are  sinful 
and  ruined. 

Secondly,  The  lump  is  that  from  which  Jacob  is 

38       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

said  to  have  been  taken  ;  and  it  is  evident  that  he  be- 
longed to  the  fallen  and  corrupt  mass  of  mankind. 
That  Esau  and  Jacob  are  declared  to  have  done  neither 
good  nor  evil  cannot  be  proved  to  refer  to  their  elec- 
tion simply  as  creatable  men,  or  apart  from  their  being 
contemplated  as  sinners.  The  meaning  clearly  is,  if 
we  judge  from  the  analogy  of  the  passage,  that  God's 
preference  of  one  to  the  other  was  not  conditioned 
upon  his  knowledge  of  a  distinction  between  their 
characters.  Regarding  them  both  as  belonging  to  a 
sinful  race,  and,  consequently,  both  as  condemned,  he 
elected  Jacob  and  passed  by  Esau.  In  electing  one 
and  rejecting  the  other,  he  had  no  regard  to  their 
"works,"  that  is,  their  special  conscious  virtues  or 
sins.  They  were  both  viewed  as  fallen  and  condemned 
in  Adam.  This  is  Calvin's  view  ; '  and  it  proves  him 
to  have  been  a  Sublapsarian. 

Thirdly,  Esau  and  other  reprobate  men  are  called 
"vessels  of  wrath."  But  wrath  is  the  exercise  of  re- 
tributive justice  towards  the  guilty.  It  pre-supposes 
the  sinful  character  of  the  objects  upon  wdiom  it  is 
inflicted.  Moreover,  they  are  said  to  be  "fitted  for 
destruction."  Now,  either  they  were  fitted  to  con- 
tract guilt  in  order  to  destruction,  or  they  were  fitted 
for  destruction  in  consequence  of  guilt.  If  the  former 
be  supposed,  they  are  not  the  objects  of  just  punish- 
ment. The  supposition  is  impossible.  If  the  latter 
be  true,  they  are  regarded  in  God's  decree  as  sinners 
worthy  of  punishment.      This  is  the  true  view. 

Another  argument  which  may  be  adduced  is,  that 
the  Scriptures  "represent  calling  as  the  expression  of 
election — the  first  articulate  proof  of  it.      But  calling 
^  Comni.  on  Rom.  cb.  ix. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  39 

is  from  a  state  of  sin  and  misery.  Therefore  election 
must  refer  to  the  same  condition.  We  are  said  to  be 
cliosen  out  of  the  world."  ^ 

It  deserves  to  be  noticed,  also,  that  Supralapsarians 
confound  the  wider  and  the  narrower  senses  of  Pre- 
destination, both  of  which  are  employed  in  Scripture. 
In  the  wider,  it  means  the  general  purpose  or  deter- 
mination of  God  in  relation  to  all  actual  things.  In 
the  narrower,  it  signifies  the  designation  of  certain 
definite  beino^s — men — to  salvation  or  destruction.  It 
is  manifest  that  the  particular  decree  of  election  or  of 
reprobation  is  different  from  the  general  decree  by 
wdiicli  all  things  are  brought  into  existence.  The 
order,  then,  is  :  the  decree  to  create  or  bring  into  ex- 
istence. This  grounds  foreknowledge  of  existing  be- 
ings. Now  this  foreknowledge  which  presupposes 
the  decree  to  bring  into  existence,  in  turn,  in  the 
order  of  thought,  precedes  Election  and  Reproba- 
tion— the  special  decree  of  predestination.  Then  the 
foreknowledge  of  the  actual  salvation  or  destruction 
of  men  presupposes  their  election  or  reprobation. 
General  decree  of  predestination — general  foreknowl- 
edge ;  special  decree  of  predestination — special  fore- 
knowledge :  that,  I  conceive  is  the  order  indicated  in 
Scripture.  Supralapsarianism  confounds  the  special 
with  the  general  decree.  The  distinction  is  indis- 
pensable to  a  correct  understanding  of  the  Scriptures. 

These  special  arguments  are  enhanced  and  con- 
firmed by  the  general  doctrine  of  the  Scriptures  that 
God  is  not  the  author  of  sin  but  its  righteous  punisher. 
For,  the  Supralapsarian  fails  to  relieve  his  view  of  the 
consequence  that  it  implies  the  divine  efficiency  in 
'  Tliornwell,  Coll.  Writings^  vol.  ii.  p.  25. 

40       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Armijiianism. 

the  production  of  sin,  by  the  distinctions  which  he 
makes — namely,  that  while  God  is  the  producer  of  the 
sinful  act  as  an  entity  and  therefore  a  good  thing,  he 
does  not  produce  the  sinful  quality  which  inheres  in 
the  act ;  and  that  God  is  not  the  efficient  cause  of  sin, 
since  sin  itself  is  not  a  positive  thing  requiring  an  ef- 
ficient, but  merely  the  privation  of  a  good  quality 
and  therefore  supposing  only  a  deficient,  cause.  How- 
ever ancient  may  be  these  distinctions,  and  however 
venerable  may  be  the  names  by  which  they  are  sup- 
ported, they  are  liable  to  the  charge  of  depreciating 
the  criminal  enormity  of  sin,  and  of  threatening  to 
reduce  it  to  a  mere  imperfection  incident  to  the  make 
of  the  finite  creature.^ 

(2.)  The  Metaphysical  argument. 

''The  Supralapsarian  theory,"  says  Dr.  Charles 
Hodee,  "seems  to  involve  a  contradiction.  Of  a  Non- 
Ens  (a  thing  not  existent),  as  Turrettin  says,  nothing 
can  be  determined.  The  purpose  to  save  or  condemn, 
of  necessity  must,  in  the  order  of  thought,  follow  the 
purpose  to  create."  "The  theory,"  observes  Dr. 
Thornwell,  "which  makes  the  decree  respect  man 
not  as  fallen,  nor  even  as  existing,  but  only  as  cap- 
able of  both,  makes  the  decree  terminate  upon  an  ob- 
ject which  in  relation  to  it  is  a  nonentity.  It  makes 
the  decree  involve  a  palpable  contradiction." 

There  is  first  the  conception  in  the  divine  mind  of 
all  possible  beings.  The  knowledge  of  the  futurition, 
the  actual  existence,  of  any  of  these  possible  beings — 
I  speak  not  now  of  the  acts  of  beings — must  depend 
upon  the  determination  of  God  to  reduce  them  from 

^  See  Freed,  of  the  Will  in  its  Tlieo.  Relations,  iu  the  So.  Pres. 
Review,  for  a  discussion  of  these  distinctions. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  41 

tlie  category  of  the  possible  to  that  of  the  actual. 
Without  such  a  decree,  how  could  he  kuow  them  as 
certaiu  to  be?  Aud  if  he  could  not  know  them  as 
existent,  how  could  lie  determine  anything  in  regard 
to  them  as  existent?  Not  known  as  to  be,  they 
would  be  beyond  the  reach  of  any  predication  save 
that  of  possibility.  The  Supralapsarian  theory  con- 
founds the  conception  of  the  possible  with  that  of  the 
actual.  If  there  be  such  a  decree  as  it  affirms,  it 
would  ,  from  the  nature  of  the  case,  terminate  on  the 
barely  possible — possible  beings  would  be  its  objects. 
God  is  represented  as  decreeing  to  save  or  damn 
beings  who  are  conceived  to  be  in  posse^  not  in  esse^ 
and  who  cannot  therefore  be  conceived  as  guilty  and 
ruined.  Whatever  qualities  could  be  conceived  as 
attaching  to  them  must  have  been  conceived  as  pos- 
sible qualities,  for  actual  qualities  cannot  be  con- 
ceived as  inhering  in  merely  possible  beings.  Now 
there  is  predication  of  actual  qualities  necessarily  in- 
volved in  the  decree  to  save  or  to  condemn.  It  is 
true  that  the  decree  to  create  terminates  on  the  pos- 
sible, but  it  does  not  involve  the  contradiction  of 
supposing  actual  qualities  to  inhere  in  only  possible 
entities.  Its  very  design  is  to  put  the  possible  into  a 
condition  in  which  it  can  be  capable  of  attribution, 
and  therefore  of  moral  destination.  Let  us  suppose, 
with  the  Supralapsarian,  that  first  of  all  God  decreed 
to  glorify  his  grace  and  his  justice.  There  must  be 
beings  through  whom  that  glorification  shall  be 
effected.  Now  what  sort  of  beings  does  God  pre- 
destinate to  that  end?  Possible  beings,  replies  he. 
Are  then  possible  beings  predestinated  to  an  actual 
heaven  and  an  actual  hell?     Again,  he  contends  that 

42       Calvinism  arid  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

men  are  predestinated  to  damnation  for  their  sin. 
What  sort  of  sin?  The  possible  sin  of  possible  men? 
Is  it  not  evident  that  the  conception  of  actual  men 
and  actual  sin  is  pre-supposed  in  a  decree  to  adjudge 
them  to  actual  salvation  and  actual  damnation?  But 
that  implies  the  decree  to  create  as  pre-supposed  by 
the  decree  to  predestinate  to  salvation  or  destruction. 
Furthermore,  there  can  be  no  distinction  of  sin  and 
holiness  in  beings  merely  possible.  That  distinction 
is  rendered  possible  only  by  the  decree  to  create. 
When  they  are  created,  beings  may  remain  holy  or 
fall  into  sin.  As  this  distinction  conditions  the  pos- 
sibility of  a  decree  to  predestinate  to  salvation  or 
damnation,  the  decree  to  create  must  in  the  order  of 
thought  precede  the  decree  to  elect  or  to  reprobate. 

The  maxim,  ''What  is  last  in  execution  is  first  in 
intention,"  which  the  Supralapsarian  urges  in  favor 
of  his  scheme,  cannot  be  proved  to  hold  of  the  plan 
by  which  God  develops  his  purposes.  That  plan 
does  not  appear  to  involve  a  subordinated,  but  a  co- 
ordinated series — that  is,  one  in  which  the  parts  are 
related  as  conditions  to  each  other,  but  not  as  means 
to  ends.  Creation,  the  Fall,  Redemption  are  co- 
ordinate parts  of  God's  great  plan,  each  having  its 
own  peculiar  significance,  resulting  from  its  own 
peculiar  adaptation  to  manifest  the  divine  glory 
through  the  illustration  of  certain  divine  perfections. 
.But  the  Supralapsarian  doctrine  makes,  at  least  log- 
ically if  not  confessedly  makes,  each  element  in  the 
general  scheme  a  means  to  the  attainment  of  the 
succeeding  feature,  and  the  whole  a  concatenated 
series  of  means  to  the  accomplishment  of  the  ulti- 
mate end.      Creation  is  in  order  to  the  Fall,  the  Fall 

Election  Stated  and  Proved,  43 

ill  order  to  salvation  or  damnation,  and  they  in  order/ 
to  the  g'lory  of  grace  and  jnstice.  Upon  this  theory 
it  is  not  conceivable  tliat  the  Fall  shonld  not  have 
happened.  It  was  necessary,  in  order  that  men  might 
glorify  grace  in  their  salvation  and  jnstice  in  their 
damnation.  The  covenant  of  works  with  a  probation 
possible  to  have  been  fnlfilled,  and  glorions  rewards 
possible  to  have  been  secnred,  becomes  unintelligible. 
It  is  not  conceivable  how  the  theory  can  be  adjusted 
to  the  genius  of  the  Calvinistic  tlieology. 

(3.)  The  Moral  argument. 

There  are  law^s  of  rectitude  at  the  root  of  the 
moral  faculty  which  are  regulative  of  our  moral 
judgments,  just  as  there  are  laws  of  thought  and 
belief  at  the  root  of  the  intellect  which  control  its 
processes.  Now  the  fundamental  laws  of  justice  and 
benevolence,  implanted  by  the  divine  hand  in  our 
moral  constitution,  rise  up  in  revolt  against  the  doc- 
trine that  God  first  determines  to  glorify  his  justice 
in  the  damnation  of  men,  and  then  determines  to 
create  them  and  "efficaciously  to  procure"  their  fall 
into  sin  in  order  to  execute  that  purpose.  The 
Supralapsarian  logically  makes  God  the  efficient  pro- 
ducer of  sin.  Dr.  Twisse's  distinction  between 
God's  decreeing  to  effect,  and  decreeing  efficaciously 
to  procure,  the  fall  of  man  into  sin,  is  a  distinction 
without  a  difference.  If  God  shut  up  man  to  sin,  it 
was  the  same  as  his  causing  him  to  sin.  But  if  any- 
thing is  certain,  it  is  that  God  is  not  the  efficient 
cause  of  sin.  If  he  were,  as  he  cannot  do  wrong, 
sin  would  cease  to  be  sin  and  become  holiness,  and 
the  distinction  between  right  and  wrong  would  be 
completely  wiped  out. 

44       Calvinism  aitd  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

(4.)  The  argument  from  Calvinistic  consent. 

None  of  the  Calvinistic  Symbols  are  Supralapsarian. 
Some  of  them  imply,  without  expressly  asserting, 
Sublapsarianism.  Others  are  distinctly  Sublapsarian: 
In  the  last-named  class  are  the  Canons  of  the  Synod 
of  Dort  and  the  Foj-mnla  Consensus  Helvetica. 

3.  The  Objects^  in  particular^  of  election — some  indi- 
vidual men.  This  answers  the  question.  Who  are 
elected  ? 

Matt.  xxiv.  22:  "But  for  the  elect's  sake  those 
days  shall  be  shortened." 

INIatt.  xxiv.  24:  "Insomuch  that,  if  it  were  pos- 
sible, they  shall  deceive  the  very  elect." 

Matt.  xxiv.  31:  "x\nd  he  shall  send  forth  his  angels 
with  a  great  sound  of  a  trumpet,  and  they  shall  gather 
together  his  elect  from  the  four  winds,  from  one  end 
of  heaven  to  the  other." 

Lk.  xviii.  7:  "And  shall  not  God  avenge  his  own 
elect,  which  cry  day  and  night  unto  him  ?" 

Rom.  viii.  33:  "Who  shall  lay  anything  to  the 
charge  of  God's  elect?" 

Rom.  xvi.  13:  "Salute  Rufus  chosen  (elect)  in  the 

Eph.  i.  I,  4,  5,  7,  11:  "Paul,  an  apostle  of  Jesus 
Christ  by  the  will  of  God,  to  the  saints  wdiich  are  at 
Ephesus,  and  to  the  faithful  in  Christ  Jesus.     .     .     . 

According  as  he  hath  chosen  (elected)  us 

Having  predestinated  us  unto  the  adoption  of  children 
by  Jesus  Christ.  ...  In  whom  we  have  redemp- 
tion by  his  blood,  the  forgiveness  of  sins 

In  whom  also  we  have  obtained  an  inheritance,  being 
predestinated  according  to  the  purpose  of  him  who 
worketh  all  thinijs  after  the  counsel  of  his  own  will." 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  45 

Col.  iii.  12  :  "Put  on,  therefore,  as  the  elect  of  God, 
holy  and  beloved,  bowels  of  mercies." 

I  Thess.  i.  4:  "Knowing,  brethren  beloved,  your 
election  of  God." 

1  Thess.  V.  9:  "For  God  hath  not  appointed  us  to 
wrath,  but  to  obtain  salvation  by  our  Lord  Jesus 

2  Thess.  ii.  13  :  "But  we  are  bound  to  give  thanks 
alway  to  God  for  you,  brethren  beloved  of  the  Lord, 
because  God  hath  from  the  beginning  chosen  (elected) 
you  to  salvation." 

2  Tim.  ii.  10:  "Therefore  I  endure  all  things  for 
the  elect's  sake." 

Tit.  i.  I  :  "Paul,  a  servant  of  God  and  an  apostle 
of  Jesus  Christ,  according  to  the  faith  of  God's  elect." 

I  Pet.  i.  I,  2  :  "Peter,  an  apostle  of  Jesus  Christ, 
to  the  strangers  scattered  throughout  Pontus,  Galatia, 
Cappadocia,  Asia  and  Bithynia,  elect  according  to 
the  foreknowledge  of  God  the  Father,  through  sancti- 
fication  of  the  Spirit,  unto  obedience  and  sprinkling 
of  the  blood  of  Jesus  Christ." 

These  passages  conclusively  show,  that  there  is  not 
only  an  election  of  communities  to  peculiar  privi- 
leges— which  is  cheerfully  conceded — but  that  there 
is  an  election  of  individuals  to  everlasting  salvation  ; 
and  the  conclusion  from  these  testimonies  cannot  be 
resisted,  that  the  latter  is  the  highest  and  the  most 
important  sense  which  is  attributed  to  election  by  the 
Word  of  God.  This  distinction  is  admitted  by  the 
Evangelical  Armiuian.  But  he  holds  that  the  elec- 
tion of  individuals  is  conditioned  upon  the  divine 
foresight  of  their  faith  and  perseverance  in  holiness. 
Election,    tlien,   according  to  him,   is  not  really  the 

46       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

election  of  individuals  to  a  certain  salvation,  but,  if 
the  solecism  be  allowable,  the  election  of  a  condition 
upon  which  individuals  may  attain  to  salvation  ;  but 
of  this  more  anon.  His  argument  in  favor  of  a  cofi- 
ditional  election  of  individuals,  derived  from  the  text 
in  Peter  last  cited,  will  be  considered  when  his  proof- 
texts  come  to  be  noticed. 

It  deserves  to  be  considered,  that  the  Arminian 
cannot  object  to  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  on  the  ground 
that  it  represents  a  definite  number  of  individuals  as 
elected  to  everlasting  life  ;  for  the  Arminian  doctrine 
enforces  precisely  the  same  view.  According  to  the 
latter  doctrine,  God  foreknows  who  will  believe  and 
persevere  in  faith  and  holy  obedience  unto  the  end, 
that  is,  unto  the  attainment  of  final  salvation.  Those 
who  will  so  persevere  to  the  end  are,  of  course,  a 
definite  number.  Now  it  is  they  who  are,  by  Armin- 
ians,  said  to  be  elected.  The  conclusion  is  unavoid- 
able that  a  definite  number  of  individuals  are  elected. 
The  main  difference  between  the  two  doctrines,  that 
in  regard  to  which  the  stress  of  the  controversy  be- 
tw^een  them  takes  place,  is  concerning  the  question 
of  the  conditionality  or  the  unconditionality  of  elec- 
tion. Does  God  eternally  elect  individuals  to  believe, 
and  to  persevere  in  holiness  unto  the  attainment  of 
everlasting  life?  The  Calvinist  answers.  Yes.  The 
Arminian  answers.  No  :  he  purposes  to  elect  to  ever- 
lasting life  those  who  of  their  own  free  choice  believe 
and  persevere  in  holiness  to  the  end.  What  the  pur- 
pose to  elect  signifies,  how  it  accomplishes  any  more 
than  the  individual's  own  perseverance  to  the  end 
achieves,  it  is  impossible  to  see;  but  such  is  the  Ar- 
minian   T30sition.      Conditional    or    unconditional? — 

Election  Staled  and  Proved. 


These  are  the  test-questions,  the  shibboleths  of  tlie 
contestants.  The  extract  from  Watson  previously 
given  evinces  this  to  be  the  chief  issue. 
-  4.  T/ie  End  or  Final  Canse  of  Elcction^proxi- 
mately^  the  everlasting  life  of  sinners ;  nltiniately^ 
the  glory  of  God-  s  grace.  This  answers  the  question, 
Unto  what  does  God  elect? 

(i.)  The  proximate  end  of  election  is  the  everlast- 
ing life  of  sinners. 

Matt.  XXV.  34:  "Then  shall  the  King  say  unto 
them  on  his  right  hand,  Come,  ye  blessed  of  my 
Father,  inherit  the  kingdom  prepared  for  you  from 
the  foundation  of  the  world." 

John  vi.  37,  44:  "All  that  the  Father  giveth  me 
shall  come  to  me  ;  and  him  that  cometh  I  will  in  no 
wise  cast  out.  .  .  .  Xo  man  can  come  to  me,  except 
•the  Father  which  hath  sent  me  draw  him  :  and  I  will 
raise  him  up  at  the  last  day." 

Acts  xiii.  48  :  "And  when  the  Gentiles  heard  this, 
they  were  glad,  and  glorified  the  word  of  the  Lord  : 
and  as  many  as  were  ordained  to  eternal  life  be- 

Rom.  viii.  28-30,  i,2>^  34,  38,  39:  "And  we  know 
that  all  things  work  together  for  good  to  them  that 
love  God,  to  them  who  are  the  called  according  to  his 
purpose.  For,  whom  he  did  foreknow,  he  also  did 
predestinate  to  be  conformed  to  the  image  of  his  Son, 
that  he  might  be  the  first-born  among  many  brethren. 
Moreover  whom  he  did  predestinate,  them  he  also 
called  ;  and  whom  he  called,  them  he  also  justified  : 
and  whom  he  justified,  them  he  also  glorified.  .  .  . 
Who  shall  lay  anything  to  the  charge  of  God's  elect? 
It  is  God  that  justifieth.     Who  is  he  that  condemn- 

48       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

eth?  It  is  Christ  that  died,  yea  rather,  that  is  risen 
again,  and  who  is  even  at  the  right  hand  of  God,  who 
also  maketh  intercession  for  ns.  .  .  .  For  I  am  per- 
suaded that  neither  death,  nor  life,  nor  angels,  nor 
principalities,  nor  powers,  nor  things  present,  nor 
things  to  come,  nor  height,  nor  depth,  nor  any  other 
creatnre,  shall  be  able  to  separate  us  from  the  love  of 
God,  which  is  in  Christ  Jesus  our  Lord." 

Eph.  i.  9-11:  "Having  made  known  unto  us  the 
mystery  of  his  will,  according  to  his  good  pleasure 
which  he  hath  purposed  in  himself:  that  in  the  dis- 
pensation of  the  fulness  of  times  he  might  gather 
together  in  one  all  things  in  Christ,  both  which  are 
in  heaven,  and  which  are  on  earth  ;  even  in  him  :  in 
wdiom  also  we  have  obtained  an  inheritance,  being 
]  redestinated  according  to  the  purpose  of  him  who 
worketh  all  things  after  the  counsel  of  his  own  will." 

1  Thess.  V.  9:  "For  God  hath  not  appointed  us  to 
wrath,  but  to  obtain  salvation  by  our  Lord  Jesus 

2  Thess.  ii.  13,  14:  "But  we  are  bound  to  give 
thanks  always  to  God  for  you,  brethren  beloved  of 
the  Lord,  because  God  hath  from  the  beofinninof 
chosen  you  to  salvation,  through  sanctification  of  the 
Spirit  and  belief  of  the  truth  :  whereunto  he  called 
you  by  our  Gospel  to  the  obtaining  of  the  glory  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ." 

(2.)  The  ultimate  end  of  election  is  the  glory  of 
God's  grace. 

Rom.  ix.  23:  "And  that  he  might  make  known 
the  riches  of  his  glory  on  the  vessels  of  mercy,  which 
he  had  afore  prepared  unto  glory." 

Eph.    i.    5,   6,    II,    12:   "Having    predestinated    us 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  49 

unto  the  adoption  of  children  by  Jesus  Christ  to 
himself,  according  to  the  good  pleasure  of  his  will, 
to  the  praise  of  the  glory  of  his  grace,  wherein  he 
hath  made  us  accepted  in  the  beloved.  ...  In  whom 
also  we  have  obtained  an  inheritance,  being  predesti- 
nated according  to  the  purpose  of  him  who  worketh 
all  things  after  the  counsel  of  his  own  will :  that  we 
should  be  to  the  praise  of  his  glory,  who  first  trusted 
in  Christ." 

These  scriptural  statements  in  regard  to  the  end  or 
final  cause  of  election  are  so  explicit  that  comment  is 
scarcely  necessary,  especially  as  there  is  here  no  issue 
worth  noticing  between  the  Calvinist  and  the  Evan- 
gelical Arminian. 

It  is  trne  that,  as  the  extracts  given  from  their 
waitings  show,  Fletcher  and  Raymond  held  peculiar 
views  upon  this  point,  but  they  contravene  the  cath- 
olic doctrine  of  Arminianism.  Fletcher's  view, 
which  distinofuishes  between  an  absolute  election  of 
individuals  to  an  initial  and  contingent  salvation,  on 
the  one  hand,  and  a  conditional  election  of  all  men 
and  an  unconditional  of  some  to  a  final  salvation,  on 
the  other,  is  liable  to  the  following  objections :  first, 
tliat  the  distinction  has  no  foundation  in  Scripture, 
as  the  passages  which  have  been  cited  prove ;  sec- 
ondly, that  it  is  out  of  harmony  with  the  general 
doctrine  of  his  school  of  theology,  as  expounded  by 
such  writers  as  Wesley  and  Watson  ;  and  thirdly, 
tlu^t  he  asserted  both  a  conditional  and  an  uncondi- 
tional election  to  final  salvation. 

The  view  which  is  common  between  Fletcher  and 
Raymond — that  election  is  of  individuals  unto  faith 
and  holy  obedience,  is  confronted  by  the  fatal  diffi- 

50       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisnt. 

culty  that  it  concedes  the  Calviiiistic  position  which 
has  always  been  resisted  by  Arniinian  theologians, 
namely,  that  God's  decree  includes  the  election  of 
individuals  unto  faith  and  holy  obedience  as  means 
to  the  attainment  of  everlasting  life  as  the  end.  The 
general  doctrine  of  Arminian  writers  is,  that  these 
are  conditions  upon  which  election  takes  place,  and 
that  individuals  may  or  may  not  perform  the  condi- 
tions. If  they  do,  they  are  elected  unto  everlasting 
life  ;  if  they  do  not,  they  are  not  so  elected.  But 
the  Calvinist  makes  the  performance  of  these  condi- 
tions part  of  the  electing  decree.  So  far,  therefore, 
as  Fletcher  and  Raymond  represent  individuals  as 
elected  unto  faith  and  holiness,  they  give  up  the 
question  to  their  opponents.  Consequently,  I  cannot 
in  fairness  attribute  to  Evangelical  Arminianism 
views  which,  although  asserted  by  Arminians,  are 
incapable  of  logical  adjustment  to  it  as  a  system.  It 
is  evident  that  Dr.  Raymond  has,  in  his  Systematic 
Theology,  taken  a  new  departure  which  seems  to  be 
his  own.  How  far  he  is  a  representative  of  current 
opinions  is  an  interesting  question,  but  one  which  I 
have  not  the  means  of  deciding.  While  I  endeavor 
to  show,  that  logically  the  Arminian  scheme  main- 
tains an  election  of  conditions  upon  which  individ- 
uals may  attain  to  everlasting  life,  rather  than  the 
election  of  individuals  to  everlasting  life,  that  is  quite 
a  different  thing  from  endeavoring  to  show — what  is 
not  logically  true  of  it — that  it  holds  an  election  of 
individuals  to  the  use  of  the  elected  conditions. 
/  5.  The  Origin  of  election^from  eternity.  This 
/   answers  the  question,  When  did  God  elect? 

Jer.  xxxi.  3:   *'Yea,  I  have  loved  thee  with  an  ev- 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  51 

erlasting  love  :  therefore  with  loving-kindness   have 
I  drawn  thee." 

Matt.  XXV.  34:  ''Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father, 
inherit  the  kingdom  prepared  for  you  from  the  foun- 
dation of  the  world." 

John  vi.  2il,  X.  29,  xvii.  2,  9:  "All  that  the  Father 
giveth  me  shall  come  to  me."  "My  Father  which 
gave  them  me."  "That  he  should  give  eternal  life 
to  as  many  as  thou  hast  given  him."  "I  pray  for 
them  :  I  pray  not  for  the  world,  but  for  them  which 
thou  hast  given  me ;  for  they  are  thine." 

Eph.  i.  4,  5,  II  :   "According  as  he  hath  chosen  us 

in  him  before  the  foundation  of  the  world 

Having  predestinated  us  unto  the  adoption  of  children 
by  Jesus  Christ  to  himself,  according  to  the  good 
pleasure  of  his  will.  .  .  .  Being  predestinated 
according  to  the  purpose  of  him  who  worketh  all 
things  after  the  counsel  of  his  will." 

Eph.  ii.  4,  5:  "For  his  great  love  wherewith  he 
loved  us,  even  when  we  were  dead  in  sins,  hath  quick- 
ened us." 

2  Tim.  i.  9:  "His  own  purpose  and  grace,  which 
was  given  us  in  Christ  Jesus  before  the  world  beo-an." 

Isa.  ix.  6,  with  Isa.  viii.  18  and  Heb.  ii.  13,  14: 
"His  name  shall  be  called  ....  The  Everlast- 
ing Father."  "Behold,  I  and  the  children  whom  the 
Lord  hath  given  me."  "Behold,  I  and  the  children 
which  God  hath  given  me.  Forasmuch  then  as  the 
children  are  partakers  of  flesh  and  blood,  he  also  him- 
self likewise  took  part  of  the  same." 

These  testimonies  prove  that  election  does  not  take 
place  in  time,  but  is  from  eternity. 

By  the  extracts  which  have  been  alreadv  furnished 

52       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisin. 

from  their  writings  it  will  be  perceived,  that  Wesley, 
Watson,  Ralston  and  Raymond  contend  that  election 
takes  place  in  time.  It  is  not  an  eternal  predestina- 
tion. When  men  believe,  they  sometimes  say,  at 
others,  when  they  are  justified  and  sanctified,  at  others 
still,  when  t?hey  have  persevered  to  the  end,  they  are 
then  elected  ;  not  before.      But — 

(i.)  Their  general  doctrine  is  explicitly  delivered, 
that  election  is  conditioned  upon  the  divine  foresight 
of  perseverance  in  faith  and  holy  obedience  to  the 
end.  A  believer  may,  near  the  termination  of  his 
earthly  course,  totally  and  finally  fall  from  grace  and 
perish  forever.  In  consistency  with  this  doctrine, 
then,  they  must  hold  that  election  cannot  take  place 
in  time  ;  that  it  can  only  take  place  when  time  with 
all  its  contingencies  has  ceased  with  the  believer  and 
he  has  attained  the  end  of  his  faith.  It  can  only 
occur  at  or  after  the  expiration  of  his  last  mortal 
breath,  for  up  to  that  critical  moment  he  may  lose 
his  religion  and  miss  of  heaven.  There  is  here, 
therefore,  a  manifest  contradiction.  One  position  is, 
that  election  takes  place  in  time  ;  the  other  is,  that  it 
takes  place  after  time  has  ceased  :  it  occurs  when  the 
man  believes,  is  justified  and  sanctified  ;  it  occurs 
when  he  has  finished  his  course  and  has  entered 
heaven  !  It  would  seem  after  all  that  they  hold  to 
election  in  eternity,  but  it  is  eternity  a  parte  post^  not 
eternity  a  parte  ante/ 

(2.)  If  election  occur  in  time,  it  must,  at  the  time 
at  which  it  occurs,  fix  the  destiny  of  the  believer  sub- 
sequently to  that  time,  that  is,  for  eternity.  Other- 
wise it  is  a  changeable  election,  and  that  the  Evan- 
gelical Arminian  does  not  allow.      If  one  is  elected 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  53 

when  he  believes,  etc.,  the  election  is  then  to  eter- 
nal life  or  it  means  nothing.  But  if  the  believer 
may,  as  he  does  hold,  fall  from  faith  and  holiness  and 
finally  perish,  it  follows  that  the  election  is  unto  eter- 
nal life  and  not  unto  eternal  life  at  the  same  time. 
Here  then  is  another  instance  of  contradiction. 

(3.)  A  distinction  is  drawn  between  a  purpose  to 
elect  and  actual  election.  The  former  is  conceded  to 
be  eternal,  the  latter,  it  is  contended,  takes  place  in 
time.  What  is  this,  but  the  distinction  between  an 
eternal  purpose  and  its  temporal  execution?  God, 
for  example,  eternally  purposed  to  create  the  world. 
Its  actual  creation  occurred  in  time.  The  actual 
creation  was  the  temporal  execution  of  the  eternal 
purpose  to  create.  If,  then,  the  distinction  were 
admitted  between  an  eternal  purpose  to  elect  and 
actual  election,  the  latter  would  be  but  the  temporal 
execution  of  the  former.  But,  the  execution  in  time 
of  an  eternal  purpose  must  correspond  with  the  pur- 
pose itself.  As  it  was,  so  must  be  its  temporal  ac- 
complishment. If  the  purpose  was  unconditional,  so 
must  be  its  execution  ;  if  conditional,  the  execution 
must  correspond  with  it.  One  fails  to  see  what  is 
gained  by  this  distinction,  so  urgently  insisted  upon 
by  Evangelical  Arminian  theologians,  even  if  their 
demand  for  an  actual  election  were  granted. 

But  the  question  inevitably  arises,  What  is  their 
actual  election?  Is  it  conversion?  No,  for  conver- 
sion is  one  of  its  conditions  ;  and  a  condition  must  be 
before  that  which  is  suspended  upon  it.  Is  it  sancti- 
fication?  No,  for  sanctification  is  also  one  of  its  con- 
ditions. Is  it  perseverance  in  holiness?  No,  for  per- 
severance in  holiness  is  equally  one  of  its  conditions. 

54       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

What,  then,  is  it?  If  perseverance  in  faith  and  holi- 
ness to  the  end  condition  it,  it  follows  that  this  actual 
election  cannot  precede  the  end.  Actual  election  can 
only  be  the  election  of  a  man  to  be  saved  who  is  al- 
ready saved,  of  one  to  get  to  heaven  who  has  got 
there.  If  that  consequence  be  refused,  naught  re- 
mains but  to  admit  that  the  only  election  which  is 
conceivable  is  God's  eternal  purpose  of  election.  An 
election  in  time  is  rendered  impossible  by  Arminian 
principles  themselves. 

(4.)  Arminian  writers  make  purpose  and  foreknowl- 
edge one  and  the  same  thing.  God  eternally  pur- 
poses to  elect  in  the  sense  of  eternally  foreknowing 
an  actual  election.  But,  in  the  first  place,  if,  as  has 
been  shown,  an  actual  election  distinguished  from  a 
decree  to  elect  be  nothing,  God's  foreknowledge  of  an 
actual  election  would  be  his  foreknowledge  of  nothing. 
In  the  second  place,  the  very  design  of  this  identifi- 
cation of  purpose  and  foreknowledge  is  to  exclude 
divine  determination  from  election,  and  reduce  it  to 
simple  prescience.  It  must,  therefore,  follow  that  the 
everlasting  salvation  of  a  countless  multitude  of  sin- 
ners is  the  result  not  of  divine,  but  of  human,  deter- 
mination. God,  it  is  true,  determines  the  existence 
of  the  means  of  salvation,  but  those  who  will  be  saved 
determine  their  employment.  Heaven  with  its  eter- 
nal felicity  and  glory  is  not  decreed,  it  is  only  foreseen, 
by  the  Almighty  Ruler  of  the  universe.  This  cannot 
be  admitted.     The  consequence  refutes  the  doctrine. 

6.  The  Love  involved  in  election — a  peculiar^  fr^^^ 
inalienable^  saving  love  of  Complace7icy  towards  the 
elect.  This  answers  the  question,  How  does  God 
regard  the  elect  ? 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  55 

Ex.  XXX.  19:  "And  he  said,  I  will  make  all  my 
goodness  pass  before  thee,  and  I  will  proclaim  the 
name  of  the  Lord  before  thee  :  and  I  will  be  gracions 
to  whom  I  will  be  gracions,  and  will  shew  mercy  on 
whom  I  will  shew  mercy." 

Rom.  ix.  13,  15,  16,  18:  ''As  it  is  written,  Jacob 
have  I  loved.  .  .  .  For  he  saith  to  Moses,  I  will  have 
mercy  on  whom  I  will  have  mercy,  and  I  will  have 
compassion  on  whom  I  will  have  compassion.  So 
then  it  is  not  of  him  that  wi-lleth,  nor  of  him  that 
rnnneth,  bnt  of  God  that  sheweth  mercy,  .  .There- 
fore hath  he  mercy  on  whom  he  will  have  mercy." 

Mai.  i.  2,  3:  "Was  not  Esan  Jacob's  brother? 
saith  the  Lord  :  yet  I  loved  Jacob  and  I  hated  Esan." 

Dent.  vii.  7,  8:  "The  Lord  did  not  set  his  love 
npon  }'on,  nor  choose  yon,  because  ye  were  more  in 
number  thaw  any  people  ;  for  ye  were  the  fewest  of 
all  people:  but  because  the  Lord  loved  you." 

Dent.  X.  15:  "Only  the  Lord  had  a  delight  in  thy 
fathers  to  love  them,  and  he  chose  their  seed." 

Isa.  xliii.  4:  "Since  thou  wast  precious  in  my 
sight,  thou  hast  been  honorable,  and  I  have  loved 
thee  :  therefore  will  I  give  men  for  thee,  and  people 
for  thy  life." 

Isa.  Ixiii.  9  :  "In  all  their  affliction  he  w^as  afflicted, 
and  the  angel  of  his  presence  saved  them  :  in  his  love 
and  in  his  pity  he  redeemed  them  ;  and  he  bare  them, 
and  carried  them  all  the  days  of  old." 

Isa.  Ixiii.  16;  "Doubtless  thou  art  our  Father, 
though  Abraham  be  ignorant  of  us,  and  Israel  ac- 
knowledge us  not :  thou,  O  Lord,  art  our  Father,  our 
Redeemer;  thy  name  is  from  everlasting." 

Ps.  Ixxxix.  19,  20,  28,  30-35:   "Then  thou  spakest 

56       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

in  vision  to  thy  holy  one,  and  saidst,  I  have  laid  help 
upon  one  that  is  mighty  ;  I  have  exalted  one  chosen 
out  of  the  people.  I  have  found  David  my  servant ; 
with  my  holy  oil  have  I  anointed  him.  .  .  .  ]\Iy 
mercy  will  I  keep  for  him  forevermore,  and  my  cove- 
nant shall  stand  fast  with  him.  ...  If  his  chil- 
dren forsake  my  law,  and  walk  not  in  my  judgments  ; 
if  they  break  my  statutes,  and  keep  not  my  com- 
mandments;  then  will  I  visit  their  transgression  with 
the  rod,  and  their  iniquity  with  stripes.  Neverthe- 
less my  loving-kindness  will  I  not  utterly  take  from 
him,  nor  suffer  my  faithfulness  to  fail.  My  covenant 
will  I  not  break,  nor  alter  the  thing  that  is  gone  out 
of  my  lips.  Once  have  I  sworn  by  my  holiness  that 
I  will  not  lie  unto  David." 

Ps.  xciv.  18  :  "When  I  said,  ]\Iy  foot  slippeth  ;  thy 
mercy,  O  Lord,  held  me  up." 

Isa.  liv.  8,  10:  "In  a  little  wrath  I  hid  my  face 
from  thee  for  a  moment ;  but  with  everlasting  kind- 
ness will  I  have  mercy  on  thee,  saith  the  Lord  thy 
Redeemer.  .  .  .  For  the  mountains  shall  depart, 
and  the  hills  be  removed  ;  but  my  kindness  shall  not 
depart  from  thee,  neither  shall  the  covenant  of  my 
peace  be  removed,  saith  the  Lord  that  hath  mercy  on 

Isa.  xlix.  15:  "Can  a  woman  forget  her  sucking 
child,  that  she  should  not  have  compassion  on  the 
son  of  her  womb?  Yea,  they  may  forget,  yet  will  I 
not  forget  thee." 

Mic.  vii.  20:  "Thou  wilt  perform  the  truth  to 
Jacob,  and  the  mercy  to  Abraham,  which  thou  hast 
sworn  unto  our  fathers  from  the  days  of  old." 

Jer.  xxxi.  3:   "The  Lord  hath  appeared  of  old  unto 

Election  Stated  and  Proved,  57 

me,  saying,  Yea,  I  have  loved  thee  witli  an  everlast- 
ing love  :  therefore  with  loving-kindness  have  I  drawn 

Zeph.  iii.  17  :  "The  Lord  thy  God  in  the  midst  of 
thee  is  mighty  ;  he  will  save,  he  will  rejoice  over  thee 
with  joy  ;  he  will  rest  in  his  love,  he  will  joy  over 
thee  with  sinoincr. " 

John  xvii.  23,  26  :  "I  in  them  and  tlion  in  me, 
that  they  may  be  made  perfect  in  one  ;  and  that  the 
world   may  know  that  thon  hast  sent  me,   and  hast 

loved  them  as  thon  hast  loved  me     ....      And 


I  have  declared  unto  them  thy  name,  and  will  de- 
clare it ;  that  the  love  wherewith  thou  hast  loved  me 
may  be  in  them,  and  I  in  them." 

Rom.  V.  5,  8,  9:  "Hope  maketh  not  ashamed; 
because  the  love  of  God  is  shed  abroad  in  our  hearts 
by  the  Holy  Ghost  which  is  given  unto  us. 
God  commendeth  his  love  toward  us,  in  that,  while 
w^e  were  yet  sinners  Christ  died  for  us.  INIuch  more 
then,  being  now  justified  by  his  blood,  we  shall  be 
saved  from  wrath  through  him." 

Rom.  viii.  32,  33:  "He  that  spared  not  his  own 
Son,  but  delivered  him  up  for  us  all,  how  shall  he 
not  with  him  also  freely  give  us  all  things?  Who 
shall  lay  anything  to  the  charge  of  God's  elect?" 

Rom.  viii.  38,  39:  "For  I  am  persuaded,  that 
neither  death,  nor  life,  nor  angels,  nor  principalities, 
nor  powers,  nor  things  present,  nor  things  to  come, 
nor  height,  ner  depth,  nor  any  other  creature,  shall 
be  able  to  separate  us  from  the  love  of  God  which  is 
in  Christ  Jesus  our  Lord." 

Rom.  ix.  13:  "As  it  is  written,  Jacob  have  I 
loved,  but  Esau  have  I  hated." 

58       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arnmiianism. 

Epli.  ii.  4,  5:  "But  God,  who  is  rich  in  mercy, 
for  his  great  love  wherewith  he  loved  us,  even  when 
we  were  dead  in  sins,  hath  quickened  us  tog^ether 
with  Christ.  .  .  .  That  in  the  ages  to  come  he 
might  shew  the  exceeding  riches  of  his  grace  in  his 
kindness  toward  us  through  Christ  Jesus." 

Tit.  iii.  4-7  :  "But  after  that  the  kindness  and  love 
of  God  our  Saviour  toward  man  appeared,  not  by 
works  of  righteousness  which  we  have  done,  but  ac- 
cording to  his  mercy  he  saved  us,  by  the  washing  of 
regeneration  and  renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost ;  which 
he  shed  on  us  abundantly,  through  Jesus  Christ  our 
Saviour  ;  that  being  justified  by  his  grace,  we  should 
be  made  heirs  according  to  the  hope  of  eternal  life." 

Heb.  xiii.  5  :  'i  For  he  hath  said,  I  will  never  leave 
thee,  nor  forsake  thee." 

I  Jno.  iii.  i:  "Behold,  what  manner  of  love  the 
Father  hath  bestowed  upon  us,  that  we  should  be 
called  the  sons  of  God." 

1  Jno.  iv.  9,  10,  19:  "In  this  was  manifested  the 
love  of  God  toward  us,  because  that  God  sent  his  only 
begotten  Son  into  the  world,  that  we  might  live 
through  him.  Herein  is  love,  not  that  we  loved  God, 
but  that  he  loved  us,  and  sent  his  Son  to  be  the  pro- 
pitiation for  our  sins.  .  .  .  We  love  him  because 
he  first  loved  us." 

2  Thess.  ii.  16,  17:  "Now  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ 
himself,  and  God,  even  our  Father,  which  hath  loved 
us,  and  hath  given  us  everlasting  consolation  and 
good  hope  through  grace,  comfort  your  hearts,  and 
stablish  you  in  every  good  word  and  work." 

To  some  of  these  proof-texts  it  is  objected,  that  they 
have    exclusive    reference   to  Israel  as  a  community 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  59 

elected  to  national  privileges.  Waiving  now  the  con- 
siderations which  will  hereafter  be  adduced  in  answer 
to  this  objection,  it  is  enough  to  say  that  the  passages 
cannot  possibly  be  limited  to  the  outward  nation  of 
Israel  apart  from  the  true,  spiritual  Israel  who  are  in 
Scripture  emphatically  characterized  as  the  seed  of 
Abraham  and  Jacob.  Take  the  powerful  passage 
quoted  from  the  thirty-first  chapter  of  Jeremiah,  as 
an  example.  The  whole  context  in  which  it  stands, 
and  especially  the  great,  evangelical  promise  which  is 
connected  with  it,  make  it  apparent  that  the  electing 
love,  which  it  proclaims,  terminates  not  only  on  Is- 
raelitish  and  Jewish  believers,  but  also  on  all  God's 
true  people,  and  is  the  fountain  of  spiritual  and  sav- 
ing blessings:  ''Behold,  the  days  come,  saith  the 
Lord,  that  I  will  make  a  new  covenant  with  the  house 
of  Israel  and  with  the  house  of  Judah  :  not  according 
to  the  covenant  that  I  made  with  their  fathers  in  the 
day  that  I  took  them  by  the  hand  to  bring  them  out 
of  the  land  of  Egypt,  which  my  covenant  they  brake, 
although  I  was  a  husband  to  them,  saith  the  Lord : 
but  this  shall  be  the  covenant  that  I  will  make  witJi 
the  house  of  Israel ;  After  those  days,  saith  the  Lord, 
I  will  put  my  law  in  their  inward  parts,  and  write  it 
in  their  hearts,  and  will  be  their  God,  and  they  shall 
be  my  people.  And  they  shall  teach  no  more  every 
man  his  neighbor,  and  every  man  his  brother,  saying, 
Know  the  Lord  :  for  they  shall  all  know  me,  from  the 
least  of  them  unto  the  greatest  of  them,  saith  the 
Lord :  for  I  will  forgive  their  iniquity,  and  I  will  re- 
member their  sin  no  more." 

The  testimonies  alleged  from  Scripture  clearly  re- 
veal   the   nature    of  God's   electingr   love.     It  is  ex- 

6o       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

pressly  declared  to  be  eternal.  It  is  peculiar :  it  is 
directed  to  the  people  of  God.  It  is  free,  that  is, 
sovereign  and  unconditioned  upon  any  good  quality 
or  act  in  its  objects.  They  are  contemplated  as  in 
themselves  condemned  and  polluted  sinners.  It  is 
intense  and  inalienable :  more  so  than  that  of  a 
mother  for  the  babe  that  sprung  from  her  body  and 
suckles  her  bosom.  It  is  saving :  it  is  the  source  of 
every  benefit  of  redemption  and  the  cause  of  preserva- 
tion to  everlasting  life. 

The  fact  that  the  passage  in  Titus  declares  that 
the  kindness  and  love  of  God  appeared  in  time  can 
create  no  difficulty.  That  which  was  manifested  in 
time  must  have  eternally  existed,  for  it  is  impossible 
to  conceive  that  God  be-gan  to  love  in  time — that  a 
divine  attribute  had  a  temporal  origin. 

Following  the  instructions  of  the  Scriptures,  we 
are  constrained  to  admit  that  there  are  two  distinct 
aspects  of  the  divine  love  or  goodness.  One  of  these, 
in  the  form  of  benevolence,  terminates  on  men  indis- 
criminately, the  just  and  the  unjust,  the  evil  and  the 
good  ;  and,  when  it  is  directed  to  them  as  ill-deserv- 
ing and  miserable,  it  assumes  the  special  form  of 
mercy.  The  other,  the  love  of  complacency,  is  a  pe- 
culiar affection,  supposing  the  existence  in  its  sinful 
objects  of  a  saving  relation  to  Christ  as  Mediator, 
Federal  Head  and  Redeemer.  Now  let  it  be  sup- 
posed that  the  infinite  benevolence  of  God,  in  the 
form  of  mercy  contemplating  the  lost  and  wretched 
condition  of  man,  into  which  he  was  conceived  as 
having  plunged  himself  by  his  sin  and  folly,  sug- 
gested his  salvation:  "Deliver  him  from  going 
down  to  the  pit."     Tliat  suggestion  was  checked  by 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  6i 

the  demands  of  infinite  justice,  which  could  not  be 
denied  without  a  sacrifice  of  tlie  divine  glory: 
'Xursed  is  every  one  that  continueth  not  in  all 
things  that  are  written  in  the  book  of  the  law  to  do 
them."  For,  although  the  attributes  of  God  are  all 
infinite,  and  cohere  in  his  essence  in  perfect  harmony 
with  each  other,  the  exercise  of  one  may  be  limited 
by  another.  The  exercise  of  mercy  towards  the 
fallen  angels  was  checked  by  wisdom  and  by  justice. 
It  pleased  God,  in  the  case  of  human  sinners,  by  a 
sovereign  act  of  his  will,  to  open  a  way  for  the  out- 
going and  exercise  of  his  mercy  in  the  salvation  of  a 
part  of  them,  and  to  leave  the  w^ay  open  for  the  exer- 
cise of  Ihs  justice  in  the  punishment  of  the  remain- 
ing part.  The  Father,  as  the  representative  of  the 
Godhead,  "according  to  the  good  pleasure  of  his 
will,"  elected  some  of  mankind  to  be  redeemed. 
This,  while  it  was  a  sovereign  act  of  his  will,  in- 
volved the  exercise  of  infinite  love  and  mercy;  and  as 
the  objects  upon  which  the  choice  terminated  were 
regarded  simply  as  sinners,  condemned  and  unholy, 
the  love  and  mercy  were  free,  mere  love  ?.:id  mercy. 
"God  commendeth  his  love  toward  us,  in  that  while 
we  were  yet  sinners  Christ  died  for  us,"  and,  of 
course,  the  unmerited  love  which  so  illustriously  ex- 
pressed itself  on  earth  was  eternal.  Those  thiLS  des- 
ignated became  the  Father's  elect  ones,  his  sheep, 
whose  redemption  he  had  sovereignly  determined  to 
effect.  Appointing,  in  infinite  wisdom  and  love,  the 
eternal  Son  as  their  ^lediator  and  Redeemer,  the 
Father  entered  into  covenant  with  him  as  Federal 
Head  and  Representative,  and  gave  his  elect  sheep  to 
him,   that  as  their  good   Shepherd,  he  might,  when 

62       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Aruiinianisni. 

incarnate,  lay  down  his  life  for  their  redemption. 
"Thine  they  were,"  says  the  Saviour,  ''and  thou 
gavest  them  me."  The  Son,  on  his  part,  freely  ac- 
cepted the  momentous  tiust,  and  engaged  to  lay 
down  his  life  for  them,  to  lose  none  of  them,  to  give 
every  one  of  them  everlasting  life  and  raise  him  up  at 
the  last  day.  "I  am  the  good  Shepherd:  the  good 
shepherd  giveth  his  life  for  the  sheep.  .  .  .  My 
sheep  hear  my  voice,  and  I  know  them,  and  they  fol- 
low me :  and  I  give  unto  them  eternal  life  ;  and  they 
shall  never  perish,  neither  shall  any  pluck  them  out 
of  my  hand.  My  Father,  which  gave  them  me,  is 
greater  than  all."  "I  came  down  from  heaven  not  to 
do  mine  own  will,  but  the  will  of  him  that  sent  me. 
And  this  is  the  Father's  will  which  hath  sent  me, 
that  of  all  which  he  hath  given  me  I  should  lose 
nothing,  but  should  raise  it  up  again  at  the  last 
day."  Thus  conceived  as  in  Christ  the  elect  became 
the  objects  of  a  complaceniial  love,  measured  only  by 
the  regard  of  the  Father  for  his  weW-beloved  Son. 
"Since  thou  wast  precious  in  my  sight,  thou  hast 
been  honorable,  and  I  have  loved  thee."  "I,"  says 
the  Lord  Jesus,  "have  declared  unto  them  thy  name, 
and  will  declare  it :  that  the  love  wdierewith  thou 
hast  loved  me  may  be  in  them,  and  I  in  them." 

riiis  love  of  complacency  towards  the  elect  is  not 
to  be  confounded  with  God's  love  of  benevolence 
tD wards  all  men.  It  includes  the  love  of  benevolence, 
but  is  inconceivably  more.  It  differs  from  it  in  im- 
portant respects.  In  the  first  place,  it  supposes  a  pe- 
culiar relation  of  the  elect  to  God's  only-begotten 
Son,  and  is,  according  to  scriptural  representations, 
analoo:ous  to  the  love  the  Father  bears  to  him.      In 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  63 

the  second  place,  the  gift  of  Christ  which  it  specially 
makes  to  the  elect,  and  in  which  it  expresses  its  meas- 
ure, is  infinitely  more  costly  and  precious  than  that  of 
sunshine,  rain  and  other  mere  providential  blessings 
which  benevolence  indiscriminately  confers  upon  the 
general  mass  of  men.  In  the  third  place,  the  elect, 
although  in  themselves  unlovely,  are  conceived  as  in 
Christ  intrinsically  possessed  of  the  graces  of  the  Holy 
Spirit,  which  render  them  appropriate  objects  of  com- 
placential  regard.  It  is  this  love,  this  peculiar,  in- 
tense, unutterable  love,  which  the  Scriptures  declare 
to  be  manifested  towards  the  elect  in  the  actual  exe- 
cution of  God's  eternal  purpose  of  salvation. 

It  is  manifested  in  the  gift  of  his  Son  for  their  re- 
demption :  "  He  that  spared  not  his  own  Son,  but  de- 
livered him  up  for  us  all,  how  shall  he  not  with  him 
also  freely  give  us  all  things?"  Who  these  "all" 
are  is  to  be  collected  from  the  next  sentence  :  "Who 
shall  lay  anything  to  the  charge  of  God's  elect?" 
"Beloved,  let  us  love  one  another.  ...  In  this 
was  manifested  the  love  of  God  toward  us,  because 
that  God  sent  his  only-begotten  Son  into  the  world, 
that  we  might  live  through  him.  Herein  is  love,  not 
that  we  loved  God  but  that  he  loved  us,  and  sent  his 
Son  to  be  the  propitiation  for  our  sins.  Beloved,  if 
God  so  loved  us,  we  ought  also  to  love  one  another." 
"And  this  is  the  record,  that  God  hath  given  to  us 
eternal  life,  and  this  life  is  in  his  Son.  He  that  hath 
the  Son  hath  life  ;  and  he  that  hath  not  the  Son  hath 
not  life." 

It  is  manifested  in  their  attraction  to  Christ.  "No 
man  can  come  to  me  except  the  Father  which  hath 
sent  me  draw  him."      "Yea,  I  have  loved  thee  with 

64       Calvinisnt  and  Evangelical  Arininianism. 

an  everlasting  love  ;  therefore  with  loving-kindness 
have  I  drawn  thee." 

It  is  manifested  in  their  regeneration.  ''But  God, 
who  is.  rich  in  nierc)',  for  his  great  love  wherewith  he 
loved  us,  even  when  we  were  dead  in  sins,  hath  quick- 
ened us  together  with  Christ,  (by  grace  ye  are  saved;) 
and  hath  raised  us  up  together,  and  made  us  sit  to- 
gether in  heavenly  places  in  Christ  Jesus  ;  that  in  the 
ages  to  come  he  might  show  the  exceeding  riches  of 
his  grace  in  his  kindness  tow^ards  us  through  Christ 
Jesus."  "But  after  that  the  kindness  and  love  of 
God  our  Saviour  tow^ard  man  appeared,  not  by  works 
of  righteousness  which  w^e  have  done,  but  according 
to -his  mercy  he  saved  us  by  the  washing  of  regener- 
ation and  renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost." 

It  is  manifested  in  their  justification  and  covenant 
union  to  God  in  Christ.  "God  commendeth  his  love 
toward  us,  in  that  while  we  were  yet  sinners  Christ 
died  for  us.  ]\Iuch  more  then  being  justified  by  his 
blood,  w^e  shall  be  saved  from  wrath  through  him." 
"After  that  the  kindness  and  love  of  God  toward 
man  appeared,  .  .  .  that  being  justified  by  liis  grace, 
we  should  be  made  heirs  according  to  the  hope  of 
eternal  life."  "And  when  I  passed  by  thee,  and  saw 
thee  polluted  in  thine  own  blood,  I  said  unto  thee 
when  thou  wast  in  thy  blood.  Live;  yea,  I  said  unto 
thee  when  thou  wast  in  thy  blood,  Uve. "  Here  was 
free,  mere,  eternal,  electing  love.  "Now  when  I 
passed  by  thee  and  looked  upon  thee,  behold  thy  time 
was  the  time  of  love  ;  and  I  spread  my  skirt  over 
thee  and  covered  thy  nakedness :  yea,  I  sware  unto 
thee,  saith  the  Lord  God,  and  thou  becamest  mine." 
Here  was  the  manifestation  of  electing  love. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  65 

It  is  manifested  in  their  adoption.  "Behold,  what 
manner  of  love  the  Father  hath  bestowed  upon  us, 
that  we  should  be  called  the  sons  of  God  :  therefore 
the  world  knoweth  us  not  because  it  knew  him  not." 

It  is  manifested  in  their  sanctification.  "The  grace 
of  God  that  bringeth  salvation  hath  appeared  to  all 
men,  teaching  us  that  denying  ungodliness  and 
worldh^  lusts,  we  should  live  soberly,  righteously  and 
godly,  in  this  present  world;  looking  for  that  blessed 
hope,  and  the  appearance  of  the  great  God  and  our 
Saviour  Jesus  Christ ;  who  gave  himself  for  us,  that 
he  might  redeem  us  from  all  iniquity  and  purify  unto 
himself  a  peculiar  people,  zealous  of  good  w^orks." 

And  it  is  manifested  in  their  comfort  and  preserva- 
tion to  eternal  glory.  "Can  a  woman  forget  her 
sucking  child,  that  she  should  not  have  compassion 
on  the  son  of  her  womb?  Yea,  they  may  forget,  yet 
will  I  not  forget  thee."  "For  a  small  moment  have 
I  forsaken  thee  ;  but  with  great  mercies  will  I  gather 
thee.  In  a  little  wrath  I  hid  my  face  from  thee  for  a 
moment;  but  with  everlasting  kindness  will  I  have 
mercy  on  thee,  saith  the  Lord  thy  Redeemer  .  .  .  For 
the  mountains  shall  depart,  and  the  hills  be  removed  ; 
but  my  kindness  shall  not  depart  from  thee,  neither 
shall  the  covenant  of  my  peace  be  removed,  saith  the 
Lord  that  hath  mercy  on  thee."  "But  we  are  bound 
to  give  thanks  always  to  God  for  you,  brethren  be- 
loved of  the  Lord,  because  God  hath  from  the  begin- 
ning chosen  you  to  salvation  through  sanctification 
of  the  Spirit  and  belief  of  the  truth.  .  .  .  Now  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ  himself,  and  God  even  our  Father, 
which  hath  loved  us,  and  hath  given  us  everlasting 
consolation  and  good  hope  through  grace,  comfort 

66      Calvmzsm  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

your  hearts  and  stablish  you  in  every  good  word  and 

In  connection  with  this  aspect  of  the  subject  of 
election,  the  Arminian  doctrine  is  open  to  the  charge 
of  being  entirely  unscriptural. 

First,  it  destroys  the  difference  which,  it  has  been 
incontestably  shown  by  the  explicit  testimony  of 
Scripture,  exists  between  God's  love  of  benevolence 
for  mankind  in  general  and  his  love  of  complacency 
for  his  elect  people  in  particular.  This  is  proved  by 
the  fact  that  it  represents  God  as  having  furnished  the 
very  highest  expression  of  his  love  to  all  men  indis- 
criminately :  he  gave  his  Son  to  die  for  all.  The 
point  here  urged  is,  not  that  the  Arminian  is  unscrip- 
tural in  holding  this  doctrine,  though  that  is  true,  but 
that  in  maintaining  it  he  reduces  the  intense,  inex- 
pressible, unchangeable  affection  which  God  from 
eternity  entertained  for  his  own  people  to  a  general 
regard  for  all  sinners  of  the  human  race — his  love  for 
his  sheep  to  a  love  for  goats.  If  God  gave  his  dear 
Son  to  die  equally  for  all,  he  loved  all  with  an  equal 
love.  The  consequence  is  irresistible,  but  it  is  in  the 
face  of  the  plainest  declarations  of  the  divine  Word. 

Tke  Arminian  will,  of  course,  reply,  that  there  is 
no  plainer  declaration  of  that  Word  than  that  God 
so  loved  the  world,  that  he  gave  his  only-begotten 
Son,  that  whosoever  believeth  in  him  should  not  per- 
ish but  have  everlasting  life.  To  this  the  rejoinder 
is  inevitable,  that  if  his  construction  of  that  passage  be 
correct,  the  Word  of  God  would  contradict  itself  For 
it  would  be  a  contradiction,  if  the  gift  of  Christ  were 
affirmed  at  one  and  the  same  time  to  be  and  not  to  be 
the  expression  of  a  peculiar  love  of  complacency.    We 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  67 

are  shut  up  to  a  choice  between  these  contradictories, 
one  of  which  must  be  true,  the  other  false.  The 
weight  of  testimony  is  overwhelmingly  in  favor  of 
the  first  alternative,  and  by  that  a  regard  for  evidence 
compels  us  to  abide. 

The  same  remarks  will  apply  to  other  and  less  for- 
cible passages,  which  are  ordinarily  pleaded  in  sup- 
port of  the  love  of  God,  and  a  consequent  atonement, 
for  every  individual  of  the  human  race.  They  are  all 
capable  of  being  debated  ;  but  to  dispute  about  the 
assertions  of  Scripture  touching  the  eternal,  peculiar 
and  inalienable  love  of  God  for  his  chosen  people,  is 
not  to  inquire  into  their  meaning  but  to  deny  their 
authority.  IMore  at  present  will  not  be  said  upon  this 
particular  aspect  of  the  subject.  A  fuller  discussion 
of  it  is  reserved  to  a  consideration  of  the  objections 
to  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  which  are  derived  from  the 
moral  attributes  of  God. 

Secondly,  the  unscriptural  character  of  the  Ar- 
minian's  denial  of  electing  love  is  made  apparent  by 
his  denial  of  the  fruits  which  spring  from  it.  The 
Scriptures  represent  it  as  a  cause  which  produces  very 
definite  results.  We  have  seen,  by  a  direct  reference 
to  their  testimony,  that  the  drawing  of  the  sinner  to 
Christ,  his  regeneration  and  justification,  adoption, 
sanctification  and  preservation  to  everlasting  felicitv, 
are  attributed  to  it.  These  inestimable  benefits  the 
Arminian  ascribes  to  the  general  love  of  God  for 
mankind,  but  his  system  compels  him  to  deny  that 
they  flow  with  certainty  from  it.  They  are  contin- 
gent results.  Why?  Because  that  love  does  not  of 
itself  ensure  their  production  :  the  will  of  the  sinner 
is  their  real,    efficient  cause,   and  as  that  acts  con- 

68       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

tingently,  the  results  may  or  may  not  be  effected. 
The  love  of  God  o-ives  him  the  opportunity,  fur- 
nishes him  what  is  called  sufficient  grace,  provides 
for  him  a  ground  of  acceptance  in  the  atoning  merit 
of  Christ ;  but  he  must  improve  the  opportunity,  he 
must  use  the  grace,  he  must  accept  the  offered  atone- 
ment. He  may  not  do  any  of  these  things  ;  and  co<i- 
sequently  in  innumerable  instances  no  saving  results 
follow  from  the  love  of  God  to  men.  The  mere 
statement  of  the  doctrine  is  sufficient  to  evince  its 
contrariety  to  scriptural  truth.  The  fact  is,  that  as 
the  Arminian  denies  electing  love,  he  is  obliged  to 
deny  that  it  produces  any  fruit :  no  cause,  no  effect. 
The  denial  of  the  latter  proves  the  unscriptural  char- 
acter of  the  denial  of  the  former.  If  anything  be 
clearly  revealed  in  the  Word  of  God  it  is  that  saving 
results  are  produced  with  certainty  by  the  love  of 
God  for  sinners  :  it  is  a  saving  love.  If,  therefore,  in 
the  case  of  some  men  those  results  are  not  produced, 
it  follows  irresistibly  that  the  saving  love  of  God 
does  not  terminate  on  all,  and  that,  as  it  takes  effect 
on  some  only,  it  is  electing  love. 

Should  the  Arminian  contend  that  he  is  not  cor- 
rectly represented,  and  that  he  admits  a  special  love 
of  God  for  his  saints,  the  answer  must  be  rendered, 
that  whatever  his  view  may  be  of  that  love,  he  does 
not  regard  it  as  saving.  It  is  conceded  that  he  holds 
the  gift  of  Christ  for  the  world  to  have  been  the  fruit 
of  love  and  mercy.  But  for  what  end  did  God  send 
his  Son  into  the  world?  He  answers:  to  die  for  all 
men.  His  doctrine,  however,  is  that  the  Son  did  not 
die  to  save  all  men.  If  he  did,  he  failed  to  attain 
that  end,  for  the  Arminian  allows  that  manv  are  lost. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  69 

For  what,  then,  did  Christ  die?  He  replies  :  to  make 
the  salvation  of  all  men  possible.  How  possible?  In 
this  way,  he  says :  if  men  believe  in  Christ  and  con- 
tinue in  faith  to  the  end,  they  will  be  saved.  The 
atonement  secures  for  them  that  possibility.  But  on 
the  supposition  that  some  believe,  become  saints,  and 
are  especially  dear  to  God,  they  may  cease  to  be  saints 
and  perish  forever.  Whatever,  then,  may  be,  accord- 
ing to  the  Arminian  view,  the  love  of  God  towards 
his  saints,  it  is  a  love  which  does  not  secure  their  sal- 
vation :  it  is  not  a  saving  love.  It  is  not  equal  to  the 
love  which  a  mother  cherishes  for  her  child.  She 
would  save  him  if  she  could.  This  reputed  divine 
love  may  be  called  a  special  love,  but  it  is  not  the 
love  for  his  saints  which  the  Scriptures  assign  to 
God.  The  idea  of  it  was  not  born  of  inspiration  : 
God  never  claimed  such  love  as  his  own. 

Thirdly,  the  determination  to  save  those  who,  God 
foresees,  will  believe  and  persevere  in  faith  and  holi- 
ness to  the  end — the  Arminian  election — is  not  the 
fruit  of  mere,  free  love  :  it  is  partly  the  suggestion  of 
justice.  As  their  salvation  is  suspended  upon  their 
faith  and  perseverance,  it  is  due  to  them,  upon  their 
fulfilment  of  the  condition,  that  they  should  receive 
the  end.  Justice  recognizes  this  foreknown  fulfilment 
of  the  condition  precedent,  and  adjudges  to  them  the 
salvation  which  God  himself  made  to  depend  upon  it. 
Mercy  makes  the  condition  possible,  it  is  true  ;  but 
justice  demands  the  rewarding  of  its  performance. 
This  conclusion  could  only  be  avoided  by  making 
faith  and  perseverance  in  holy  obedience  the  products 
of  efficacious  grace.  But  that  would  be  the  doctrine  of 
Hypothetical  Redemption,  not  of  Arminianism.     The 

70       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni, 

advocate  of  the  former  scheme  concurs  with  the  Ar- 
miniaii  in  holding  the  universality  of  the  atonement, 
but  he  differs  from  him  in  asserting  the  predestinated 
efficacy  of  grace.  That  the  Arminian  denies.  In  the 
last  analysis,  then,  as  Dr.  Miner  Raymond  coolly  but 
honestly  puts  it,  "man  determines  the  question  of 
his  salvation  ;"  and  if  so,  it  is  but  right  and  just  that 
God  should  acknowledge  the  fact.  God  appoints  the 
condition :  believe  and  persevere ;  but  he  cannot 
make  the  sinner  believe  and  persevere.  "Our  human 
system,"  says  Dr.  Whedon,"^  "is  a  system  of  free 
agents  upon  whose  will  and  determination  it  depends 
whether  they  attain  eternal  bliss  or  eternal  woe.  .  .  . 
In  the  sinner's  act  of  acceptance  of  God's  saving 
grace  we  promptly  deny  any  'make-willing'  on  the 
part  of  God  which  excludes  man's  power  of  not-will- 
ing or  refusing.  God  demands  a  free  acceptance.  He 
does  not  make  a  farce  of  our  probation  by  first  requir- 
ing our  free-willing,  and  then  imposing  upon  us  a 
'make-willing.'  The  free-willing  and  the  'make- 
willing'  are  incompatible."  The  sinner,  then,  must 
himself,  by  his  own  improvement  of  assisting  grace, 
believe  and  persevere.  Well,  he  does  it.  What 
then?  Why,  he  has  performed  the  condition,  won 
the  reward,  and  justice,  assisted  by  grace,  places  the 
crown  upon  his  head  !  It  is  perfectly  plain  that  the 
Arminian  doctrine  does  not  refer  the  determination  to 
save  sinners  to  the  mere  love  of  God  :  it  ascribes  it  in 
part  to  God's  sense  of  justice.  Whatever  the  Arniin- 
ian's  reason  may  say  about  this  doctrine,  it  is  cer- 
tainly the  poles  apart  from  scriptural  truth. 

7.    The  GroitJid  or  Reason  of  election — positively^ 

*  Comni.  on  Rom.,  ch.  ii. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  71 

the  mere  good  pleasure  of  God's  sovereign  will;  neg- 
atively^ nothing  in  the  elect  themselves.  This  answers 
the  question,  Why  did  God  elect? 

(i.)  The  ground  or  reason  of  election  is,  positively, 
the  mere  good  pleasure  of  God's  sovereign  will. 

Dent.  vii.  7,  8:  ''The  Lord  did  not  set  his  love 
upon  you,  nor  choose  you,  because  ye  were  more  in 
number  than  any  people  ;  for  ye  were  the  fewest  of  all 
people :  but  because  the  Lord  loved  you,  and  because 
he  would  keep  the  oath  which  he  had  sworn  unto 
your  fathers,  hath  the  Lord  brought  you  out  with  a 
mighty  hand,  and  redeemed  you  out  of  the  house  of 
bondmen,  from  the  hand  of  Pharaoh  king  of  Egypt." 

Deut.  iv.  ^n '-  "And  because  he  loved  thy  fathers, 
therefore  he  chose  their  seed  after  them,  and  brought 
thee  out  in  his  sight  with  his  mighty  power  out  of 

Dan.  iv.  35:  "He  doeth  according  to  his  will  in 
the  army  of  heaven,  and  among  the  inhabitants  of 
the  earth  :  and  none  can  stay  his  hand,  or  say  unto 
him,  What  doest  thou?" — a  confession  wrung  from 
even  a  heathen  monarch. 

Matt.  xi.  25,  26  :  "At  that  time  Jesus  answered  and 
said,  I  thank  thee,  O  Father,  Lord  of  heaven  and 
earth,  because  thou  hast  hid  these  things  from  the 
wise  and  prudent  and  hast  revealed  them  unto  babes. 
Even  so.  Father:  for  so  it  seemed  good  in  thy  siglit." 

Ex.  XXX.  19:  "And  he  said,  I  will  make  all  my 
goodness  pass  before  thee,  and  I  will  proclaim  the 
name  of  the  Lord  before  thee  :  and  I  wnll  be  gracious 
to  whom  I  will  be  gracious,  and  I  will  shew  mercy  to 
whom  I  will  shew  mercy." 

"Alal.  i.  2,  3:  "Was  not  Esau  Jacob's  brother? 
saith  the  Lord :  yet  Iloved  Jacob  and  I  hated  Esau." 

72       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anjiinianism. 

Rom.  ix.  11-16:  "For  the  children  being  not  yet 
born,  neither  having  done  any  good  or  evil,  that  the 
purpose  of  God  according  to  election  might  stand, 
not  of  works,  but  of  him  that  calleth  ;  it  was  said 
unto  her.  The  elder  shall  serve  the  younger.  As  it  is 
written,  Jacob  have  I  loved,  but  Esau  have  I  hated. 
What  shall  we  say  then?  Is  there  unrighteousness 
with  God?  God  forbid.  For  he  saith  to  Moses,  I 
will  have  mercy  on  whom  I  will  have  mercy,  and  I 
will  have  compassion  on  whom  I  will  have  compas- 
sion. So  then  it  is  not  of  him  that  willeth,  nor  of 
him  that  runneth,  but  of  God  that  sheweth  mercy." 

I  Cor.  i.  21  :  "For  after  that  in  the  wisdom  of  God 
the  world  by  wisdom  knew  not  God,  it  pleased  God 
by  the  foolishness  of  preaching  to  save  them  that  be- 

Eph.  i.  5,  9-1 1  :  "Having  predestinated  us  unto 
the  adoption  of  children  by  Jesus  Christ  to  himself, 
according  to  the  good  pleasure  of  his  will. 
Having  made  known  unto  us  the  mystery  of  his  will, 
according  to  his  good  pleasure  which  he  hath  pur- 
posed in  himself:  that  in  the  dispensation  of  the  ful- 
ness of  times  he  might  gather  together  in  one  all 
things  in  Christ,  both  which  are  in  heaven  and  which 
are  on  earth  ;  even  in  him  :  in  whom  also  we  have 
obtained  an  inheritance,  being  predestinated  accord- 
ing to  the  purpose  of  him  who  worketh  all  things 
after  the  counsel  of  his  own  will." 

Phil.  ii.  13  :  "For  it  is  God  which  worketh  in  you 
both  to  will  and  to  do  of  his  good  pleasure." 

The  Scripture  testimonies  which  have  thus  been 
collected  clearly  and  powerfully  prove,  that  the  God, 
who,  even  according  to  Nebuchadnezzar's  confession, 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  73 

doetli  according  to  his  will  in  the  army  of  heaven  ai»id 
among  the  inhabitants  of  the  earth,  whose  hand  none 
can  stay  and  to  whom  none  can  say,  What  doest  thou? 
has  decreed  the  salvation  of  some  of  the  human  race, 
According  to  his  mere,  sole,  sovereign  pleasure.  The 
statements  of  this  fact  are  express  and  unequivocal. 
Nothing  but  adherence  to  a  system  could  lead  one 
who  reverences  God's  word  to  deny  their  force.  The 
objects  of  the  divine  decree  are  declared  to  be  pre- 
destinated unto  the  adoption  of  children  and  to  an 
inheritance  in  Christ,  according  to  the  good  pleasure 
of  God's  will,  according  to  his  good  pleasure  which 
he  hath  purposed  in  himself,  according  to  the  purpose 
of  him  who  workelli   all   thino-s  after  the  counsel   of 


his  own  will.  In  one  short  passage  the  assertion  is 
made  again  and  again,  with  impressive  reiteration,  as 
if  to  preclude  all  shadow  of  doubt,  that  the  ground 
of  election  is  alone  tjie  sovereign  pleasure  of  the 
divine  will.  There  can  be  no  question  as  to  the 
objects  of  the  decree  :  they  are  those  who  are  adopted 
as  the  children  of  God  in  Christ,  those  who  obtain  an 
inheritance  in  Christ.  Nor  can  there  be  any  question 
as  to  the  existence  of  the  decree  :  it  is  termed  a  pre- 
destinating purpose.  Nor  can  there  be  any  question 
as  to  the  seat  of  this  predestinating  decree :  it  is 
affirmed  to  be  the  will  of  God.  Nor,  finally,  can 
there  be  any  question  as  to  its  absoluteness  :  it  is  pre- 
cisely described  as  purposed  in  himself,  according  to 
his  good  pleasure.  There  is  no  place  for  supposing 
any  reference  to  an  extrinsic  ground,  reason,  or  con- 
dition. The  purpose,  as  to  its  origination  and  ground, 
is  intrinsic  to  God,  purely  sovereign  and  absolutely 
unconditioned  by  anything  ab  extra.      The  objects 

74       Calviiiisni  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

upon  whom  it  terminated  were  extraneous  to  God  ; 
but  the  purpose  itself  was  as  free  as  it  was  subjective 
to  him.  Every  individual  human  being  to  whom  it 
was  directed  might  have  been  justly  consigned  with 
the  revolted  angels  to  hell. 

The  passage  in  Philippians  discharges,  in  relation 
to  this  question,  a  twofold  office.  In  the  first  place, 
it  shows,  positively,  that  the  whole  application  of 
redemption  springs  from  the  good  pleasure  of  God's 
will  ;  and,  in  the  second  place,  negatively,  as  with  a 
devouring  edge  it  cuts  away  the  supposition  that  any- 
thing in  the  creature  can  condition  the  purpose  of 
God  to  save.  It  declares  that  the  willing  and  the 
doing — the  whole  of  the  obedience  of  the  Christian 
man — is  determined  by  the  will  of  God  working  ac- 
cording to  his  good  pleasure.  In  few  but  pregnant 
words,  a  conclusive  testimony  is  rendered  to  the  effi- 
cacious grace  of  God  as  the  expression  and  realization 
of  the  eternal  purpose  of  his  will. 

Our  blessed  Lord  and  Saviour  spoke  very  definitely 
in  regard  to  this  subject.  After  mentioning  the 
sovereign  distinction  which  God  in  his  providence 
had  made  between  the  cities  of  Chorazin,  Bethsaida 
and  Capernaum  on  the  one  hand,  and  Tyre,  Sidon 
and  Sodom  on  the  other,  in  giving  the  gospel  to  the 
former  and  withholding  it  from  the  latter,  he  answers 
objections  which  might  be  rendered  to  this  divine 
procedure  and  all  others  like  it  by  saying,  "I  thank 
thee,  O  Father,  Lord  of  heaven  and  earth,  because 
thou  hast  hid  these  things  from  the  wise  and  prudent 
and  hast  revealed  them  unto  babes.  Even  so,  Father: 
for  so  it  seemed  good  in  thy  sight."  He  solemnly 
expresses   his  acquiescence  in  the  divine  sovereignty 

•  Etection  Stated  and  Proved.  75 

which  refuses  a  saving  knowledge  of  redemption  to 
some  and  grants  it  to  others.     To  say  that  the  proud 
debar  themselves  from  it  is  futile,  for  God  could,  if 
he  so  willed,  in  a  moment  overcome  their  pride,  as  he 
did  in  the  case  of  Saul  of  Tarsus,   a  typical  repre- 
sentative of  the  very  class  who  were  cavilling  at  the 
Saviour's   doctrine   and    rejecting    his   offer   of    the 
o-ospel.     Nor  can  the  Arminian  consistently  urge  this 
construction  of  the  language  of  our  Lord,  since  he 
admits    that   Tvre,    Sidon    and    Sodom    would    have 
accepted  the  gospel  had  it  been  tendered   to   them 
supported    by    miraculous    proofs.     Why,    then,    did 
God  denv  it  to  them?     What  answer  can  be  given  by 
the  Arminian  himself  to  this  question,  but  that  so  it 
seemed  good  in  God's  sight?     He  admits,  I  say,  that 
the  cities  specified  would  have  repented  if  the  gospel 
had  been  preached   to  them,  for  this  is  one  of  the 
passages  which  he  adduces  to  support  his  doctrine  of 
a   scientia    vudm-^    conditional    foreknowledge    of 
God. '     He    foreknew    that  if  the    gospel   were   fur- 
nished to  those  cities  they  would  repent.     Why  then 
did  God  not  furnish  them  the  gospel?     It  is  hard  to 
see  how  one  who  denies  the  sovereignty  of  election, 
and   affirms  the  indiscriminate  love  of  God   for  all 
mankind,  can  answer  that  question. 

It  is  objected  that  the  proofs  derived  from  the 
passaoes  in  Exodus,  Deuteronomy,  IMalachi  and  the 
nintirchapter  of  Romans  are  irrelevant,  because  they 
refer  not  to  the  election  of  individuals  to  salvation, 
but  of  a  nation  to  peculiar  privileges.  This  question 
has  long  been  discussed  by^commentatoi^^ 
■-T^^^;^^^;;;^^^;^:^^;^:^^^  Xew  York,  1840.     Here  the 

doctrine  is  approved. 

76       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arjninianism. 

logians,  but  it  has  a  fresh  interest  for  every  genera- 
tion. Arguments  in  answer  to  the  above-mentioned 
objection  are  here  briefly  presented. 

First,  the  objection  concedes  the  principle  of  a 
sovereign  and  unconditional  election.  Why,  argues 
God  with  Israel,  did  I  swear  unto  your  fathers 
and  bring  them  into  covenant  relation  tome?  Be- 
cause, he  answers,  I  loved  them.  Why  did  he  love 
them?  The  reply  is,  that  it  was  not  because  of  any 
qualities  he  saw  in  them  which  distinguished  them 
favorably  from  other  peoples,  but  because  such  was 
his  sovereign  pleasure.  If,  therefore,  it  be  admitted 
that  God  chose  Israel  from  among  the  nations  with 
whom  they  had  been  equally  immersed  in  idolatry, 
and  without  any  reference  to  pre-disposing  conditions 
in  them  elevated  them  to  a  special  relation  to  himself 
and  the  enjoyment  of  peculiar  blessings,  the  principle 
of  an  unconditional  election  is  clearly  conceded.  The 
objection  to  a  specific  application  of  the  principle, 
namely,  to  individuals  in  regard  to  salvation,  pro- 
ceeds upon  the  acknowledgment  of  the  principle 
itself.  It  is  confessed  that  a  nation  was  uncondition- 
ally elected  to  peculiar  privileges. 

Secondly,  the  election  of  a  nation  to  peculiar  privi- 
leges of  a  religious  nature,  involving  a  knowledge  of 
redemption,  was  the  election  of  individuals  to  those 
religious  privileges,  for  they  were  the  components  of 
the  nation.  The  election  of  a  nation,  considered  ab- 
stractly and  apart  from  the  individuals  forming  it, 
would  be  unintelligible.  The  individuals  constitut- 
ing the  nation  were,  by  the  election  of  the  nation, 
brought  into  contact  with  these  peculiar  religious 
privileges.     Those  who  were  not  connected  with  the 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  yj 

nation  elected  were  divinely  exchided  from  contact 
with  them.  It  follows  that  the  principle  of  a  sover- 
eien,  nnconditional  election  was  exhibited  in  relation 
to  individuals.  The  individuals  of  one  nation  were 
discriminated  from  the  individuals  of  another. 

Thirdly,  the  individuals  of  the  nation  elected  were 
brousrht  into  relation  to  the  conditions  of  salvation — 
the  only  conditions  upon  which  salvation  could  be 
attained.  Their  election  to  national  privileges  of  a 
religious  and  redemptive  character  conditioned  their 
attainment  of  eternal  salvation.  Here  then  was  a 
sovereign,  unconditional  election  of  individuals  to 
conditions  without  which  their  salvation  would  have 
been  unattainable.  The  objector  admits  that  this 
election  rendered  their  salvation  more  probable,  than 
it  would  otherwise  have  been  ;  but  he  denies  that  it 
necessarily  conditioned  salvation,  that  without  it  sal- 
vation would  have  been  impossible.  This  question 
will  be  argued  at  length  when  the  objections  to  un- 
conditional election  from  the  moral  attributes  of  God 
come  to  be  examined.  At  present  a  few  considera- 
tions drawn  immediately  from  Scripture  are  sub- 
mitted.    They  are  conclusive  upon  the  point. 

In  the  first  place,  the  great  argument  of  Paul  in 
Romans  proves  that  no  individual  of  the  human  race 
can  be  justified  and  saved  except  through  faith  in  the 
vicarious  merits  of  Christ.  This  cannot  be  success- 
fully gainsaid. 

In  the  second  place,  Paul,  in  the  tenth  chapter  of 
the  same  epistle,  declares  that  no  individual  of  the 
race  can  exercise  faith  in  Christ,  except  he  has  heard 
of  him.  Faith  in  Christ  conditions  salvation,  and 
the  knowledo^e  of  Christ   conditions    faith    in    him. 

/S       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Annijiianisni. 

*'How  shall  they  believe  in  him  of  whom  they  have 
not  heard?" 

In  the  third  place,  God's  Word  explicitly  asserts  that 
no  man  under  heaven  can  he  saved  except  through 
the  name  of  Christ,  that  is,  of  course,  through  the 
knowledge  of  that  saving  name.  "Neither  is  there 
salvation  in  any  other  :  for  there  is  none  other  name 
under  heaven  given  among  men,  whereby  we  must 
be  saved." 

In  the  fourth  place,  Paul,  in  the  second  chapter  of 
Ephesians,  closes  the  case  by  furnishing  the  concrete 
proof.  The  Ephesian  Christians  had  been  heathen, 
that  is,  they  at  one  time  did  not  know  the  gospel  of 
Christ.  Now  the  apostle  tells  them  that  at  that  time 
they  were  in  a  hopeless  condition  :  their  salvation 
would  have  been  impossible  had  that  state  of  ignor- 
ance continued.  The  argument  is  plain  and  over- 
whelming. "At  that  time  ye  were  without  Christ." 
Why?  "Ye  were  aliens  from  the  commonwealth  of 
Israel  and  strangers  from  the  covenants  of  promise." 
Because  they  were  not  connected  with  the  nation  of 
Israel  they  did  not  know  the  gospel  ;  and  because 
they  did  not  know  the  gospel  they  could  not  know 
Christ.  Hence,  they  had  "no  hope  and  were  with- 
out God  in  the  world."  Without  connection  with 
the  visible  church,  they  had  no  knowledge  of  the 
gospel  ;  therefore  they  were  without  Christ,  without 
God  and  without  hope. 

These  arguments  from  Scripture  are  sufficient  to 
prove,  that  the  unconditional  election  of  a  nation  to 
peculiar  privileges,  of  a  religious  and  redemptive  char- 
acter, is  the  unconditional  election  of  the  individuals 
composing  it  to  conditions,  upon  which  alone  eternal 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  79 

salvation  is  attainable.  Now  it  is  manifest,  that 
other  nations  were  not  excluded  from  access  to  the 
means  of  salvation  because  they  were  morally  worse 
than  the  Israelites,  and  that  the  Israelites  were  not 
elected  to  the  enjovment  of  those  means  because  they 
were  morally  better  than  other  peoples.  It  was  then 
by  virtue  of  God's  sovereign,  unconditional  election, 
that  the  nations  rejected  were  left  in  an  idolatrous 
and  heathenish  state  in  which  they  were  not  salvable, 
and  that  the  Israelites  were  introduced  into  a  state  in 
which  they  possessed  the  means  of  salvation.  If  the 
operation  of  the  principle  of  sovereignty  in  election 
went  thus  far,  why  should  it  not  be  admitted  that  it 
went  farther — that  it  also  manifested  itself  in  produc- 
ing actual  salvation?  Some  of  the  Israelites  them- 
selves were  not  actually  saved  ;  some  of  them  were. 
The  presumption  afforded  by  the  analogy  of  the  case 
would  lie  in  favor  of  the  unconditional  election  to  sal- 
vation of  such  as  were  actually  saved.  All  were,  by 
reason  of  a  sinful  nature,  equally  indisposed  to  make 
a  profitable  use  of  the  means  of  grace,  to  employ  the 
conditions  of  salvation.  None  were  more  worthy 
than  others  of  the  grace  which  would  enable  and 
determine  them  to  look  through  a  sacrificial  ritual 
and  typical  ordinances  to  the  only  true  sacrifice  for 
sin,  and  believe  in  him  to  salvation.  The  presump- 
tion, I  say,  is  in  favor  of  the  conclusion  that  a  divine 
election  made  the  difference  between  the  two  classes 
— the  unsaved  and  the  saved.  The  principle  of 
sovereign  election  would,  in  its  application,  have 
proceeded  but  a  step  farther.  A  long  step  !  it  will  be 
said.  Yes,  but  the  Almighty  God  can  take  long 
steps.     He  treads  upon  the  mountains  and  the  stormy 

8o       Calvinism  and  Evano^elical  Arminianism. 


seas,  and  he  can  triumphantly  march  over  all  diffi- 
culties raised  by  sin  and  hell  to  the  eternal  salvation 
of  the  soul. 

This  powerful  presumption  is  confirmed  by  all  those 
testimonies  of  Scripture  already  quoted  which  un- 
questionably prove,  that  the  proximate  end  of  the 
election  of  individuals  is  everlasting  life,  and  by  all 
those  yet  to  be  cited  wdiicli  as  unquestionably  prove, 
that  the  conditions  of  final  salvation  are  not  the  con- 
ditions of  election — that  faith  and  perseverance  in 
holy  obedience  are  themselves  the  fruits  of  election  : 
that,  indeed,  they  are  parts  of  salvation  begun  on 
earth  and  completed  in  heaven. 

Fourthly,  let  it  be  admitted  that  Jacob  and  Esau 
were  the  respective  heads  of  different  nations,  and  it 
cannot  be  denied  that  they  were  also  individuals. 
The  language  of  Scripture  in  regard  to  them  cannot, 
without  violence,  be  confined  to  them  as  national 
heads.  It  refers  to  them  chiefly  as  persons  in  relation 
to  the  divine  purpose.  Meyer,  whose  commentaries 
are  held  in  high  repute  for  critical  ability  and  ex- 
egetical  fairness,  and  who  certainly  was  not  influenced 
by  a  partisan  zeal  for  Calvinism,  says:  "Paul,  how- 
ever, has  in  view,  as  the  entire  context,  vv.  lo,  ii,  13 
evinces,  in  'the  elder  and  the  younger'  (the  greater 
and  the  lesser)  EsaiL  and  Jacob  themselves^  not  their 
nations y^  He  meets  the  difficultv  ur^ed  against 
this  interpretation  from  the  declaration,  that  "the 
elder  shall  serve  the  younger,"  which,  it  is  contended, 
was  only  fulfilled  in  the  national  subjection  of  the 
Edomites,  the  descendants  of  Esau,  to  the  Israelites, 
the  descendants  of  Jacob,  in  this  way  :   "The  fulfill- 

^Ou  Rom.,  ch.  ix,  11,  12. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  8i 

meiit  of  the  'serving'  is  to  be  found  in  the  theocratic 
subjection  into  which  Esau  was  reduced  through  the 
loss  of  his  birthright  and  of  the  paternal  blessing, 
whereby  the  theocratic  lordship  passed  to  Jacob.      But 
inasmuch  as  in  Genesis  the  two  brothers  are  set  forth 
as  representatives  of  the  nations,   and   their  persons 
and  their  destiny  are  not  consequently  excluded,— as, 
indeed,  the  relation  indicated  in  the  divine  utterance 
took  its  beginning  with  the  brothers  themselves,  by 
virtue  of  the  preference  of  Jacob  through  the  paternal 
blessing,— the  apostle's  apprehension  of  the  passage, 
as  he  adapts  it  to  his  connection,  has  its  ground  and 
its  warrant,  -^specially  in  view  of  similar  hermeneutic 
freedom   in  the  use  of  Old  Testament  expressions."^ 
We  would  not  tie  ourselves  to  the  opinions  of  com- 
mentators  on    the    Bible,    remembering    the    frailty 
which  made  possible  the  biting  sarcasm  of  Werenfels: 

"This  is  the  Book  where  each  his  dogmas  seeks, 
And  this  the  Book  where  each  his  dogmas  finds  ;" 

but  this  impartial  witness  is  true.  His  appeal  to  the 
immediate  context  is  conclusive  enough,  and  the 
appeal,  along  with  it,  to  the  whole  drift  of  the  argu- 
ment in  Romans,  and  the  whole  analogy  of  Scripture 
is  absolutely  decisive. 

Let  us  for  the  nonce  part  these  twins,  and  look  at 
Jacob  by  himself.  It  is  very  certain  that  the  Holy 
Ghost  speaking  through  Paul  declares  him  to  have 
been,  in  some  sense,  elected.  The  Arminian  objects 
to  an  unconditional  election  to  eternal  life.  Now  he 
must  admit  that  Jacob's  election,  whatever  may  have 
been  its  end,  was  unconditional.  The  apostle  ex- 
^Qw  Rom.,  ch.  ix,  ii,  12. 

82       Calvinism  a7id  Evangelical  Arminia^iisni. 

pressly  teaches  that  it  was  not  because  God  regarded 
him  as  a  doer  of  good  that  he  elected  him.  He 
could  not  have  so  taught,  if  it  were  true  that  his 
election  was  conditioned  upon  the  divine  foresight  of 
his  good  works.  He  might  have  employed  as  illus- 
trative of  his  argument  the  instances  of  Isaac  and 
Ishmael,  the  children  of  Abraham,  the  father  of  be- 
lievers ;  but  those  of  Jacob  and  Esau  were  evidently 
more  to  his  purpose  ;  for  there  was  in  themselves  no 
possible  ground  of  difference  between  these  two 
brothers.  They  were  not  only  the  cliildren  of  tlie 
same  father,  but,  as  w^as  not  the  case  with  Isaac  and 
Ishmael,  the  children  of  the  same  mother;  and  they 
were  twins.  What  could  have  made  the  difference 
between  their  persons  and  their  destinies  but  the 
mere  unconditioned  purpose  of  God?  But  it  is  need- 
less further  to  press  a  point  which  can  only  be  re- 
sisted by  denying  the  truth  of  the  inspired  Word. 
The  Arminian  concedes  it. 

But  he  admits,  as  has  been  shown  by  a  reference  to 
representative  theologians,  the  election  of  some  indi- 
viduals to  eternal  life.  He  must  also,  upon  his  prin- 
ciples, admit  that  Jacob  was  elected  to  eternal  salva- 
tion. He  was  in  life  the  exemplar  of  urgent  and 
successful  prayer,  a  prince  that  had  power  with  God 
and  prevailed,  and  in  Hebrews  he  is  said  to  have  died 
by  faith.  Having  believed  in  Christ,  and  done  good 
works,  and  persevered  in  them  to  the  end,  he  was,  of 
course,  elected  to  eternal  life.  Now  why  not  put  the 
two  things  together  :  the  unconditional  election  of 
Jacob,  which  is  conceded  to  be  stated  by  Paul  in 
Romans,  and  his  election  to  eternal  life,  which  is 
also  granted  ?     Why  not  admit  the  teaching  of  Scrip- 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  83 

tare  to  be,  that  Jacob  was  iiiicoiiditionally  elected  to 
eternal  life?  The  only  possible  answer  is,  Becanse 
Paul  in  Romans  speaks  only  of  Jacobus  election  to 
temporal  blessings.  The  point  then  to  be  proved  is 
that  Paul  speaks  of  Jacob's  election  not  only  to  tem- 
poral blessings,  but  also  to  salvation. 

The  first  proof  is,  that  the  whole  tenor  and  strain 
of  the  apostle's  argument  in  Romans  has  chief  ref- 
erence to  the  justification  and  salvation  of  individual -tC 
sinners.  Consequently,  to  divert  his  discourse  con- 
cerning election,  which  is  a  constituent  element  of 
that  argument,  into  another  direction,  is  to  wrench  it 
from  its  track. 

The  second  proof  is,  that  in  the  immediate  context 
Paul  treats  of  the  promise  made  by  God  to  Abraham's 
children,  and  he  shows  that  Jacob  was  constituted  an 
heir  of  that  promise  by  divine  election.  To  say  that 
this  illustrious  promise  guaranteed,  exclusively  or 
even  chiefly,  temporal  blessings,  is  to  eviscerate  the 
Scriptures  of  their  meaning.  Paul's  argument  con- 
cerning the  promise  in  Galatians  as  well  as  in  Ro- 
mans would  be  contradicted.  The  promise  conveyed 
spiritual  and  saving  blessings.  To  take  any  other 
view  is  to  strip  the  Old  Testament  of  its  evangelical 
element  and  reduce  the  New  Testament  exposition  of 
it  to  absurdity.  Jacob,  therefore,  was  elected  to 
share  in  the  promise  of  salvation ;  that  is,  as  a  pro- 
mised salvation  is  not  an  earned  salvation  he  was 
elected  to  salvation. 

The  third  proof  is,  that  the  apostle  expressly  dis- 
tinguishes between  the  natural  and  the  spiritual  seed 
of  Abraham.  It  is  only  the  latter,  argues  he,  who 
are  the  children  of  God.      In   immediate  connection 

84       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminiaitisin. 

with  this  he  introduces  the  cases  of  Jacob  and  Esau 
as  illustrative  of  that  distinction.  Both  were  the 
carnal  descendants  of  Abraham,  but  only  Jacob,  of 
the  two,  was  one  of  his  spiritual  children,  and  there- 
fore one  of  the  children  of  God.  How  was  he  consti- 
tuted such?  Not  by  natural  descent,  but  by  God's 
election  of  him  irrespectively  of  his  works.  Jacob's 
election  was  therefore  to  adoption  into  God's  family, 
and,  as  God  never  loses  any  of  his  adopted  children, 
to  eternal  life. 

The  fourth  proof  is,  that  God's  saints  are  explicitly 
said  in  Scripture  to  be  elected  unto  faith,  holy  obedi- 
ence and  perseverance  in  the  same  to  the  end.  Jacob 
was  an  eminent  saint  of  God.  In  calling  himself  the 
God  of  Jacob,  Deity  himself  pays  a  tribute  to  the 
exemplary  sanctity  of  his  servant.  Jacob  therefore 
was  elected  to  faith,  holiness  and  perseverance  in 
them  to  the  end — that  is,  he  was  elected  to  salvation. 
If  this  be  not  the  election  which  Paul  treats  of  in  the 
ninth  of  Romans,  the  principal  election  of  Jacob  is 
left  out  of  account,  and  the  less  is  signalized. 

These  proofs  establish  the  fact  that  the  election  of 
Jacob  was  not  merely  to  temporal  blessings,  and 
that  consequently  it  was  an  unconditional  election, 
grounded  in  the  sovereign  will  of  God,  to  eternal 
salvation.  What  is  the  difficulty  that  opposes  the 
admission  of  these  proofs?     It  is  two-fold  : 

In  the  first  place,  the  freedom  and  sovereignty  of 
the  human  will  would  be  impugned.  God,  it  is 
argued,  having  endowed  the  will  with  these  preroga- 
tives cannot,  consistently  with  himself,  determine  it 
by  his  agency.  To  admit  unconditional  election  is 
to  admit   this   divine  determination  of  the  will.      It 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  85 

will  hereafter,  in  the  progress  of  the  discussion,  be 
shown  that  nnless  nnconditional  election  along  with 
this  admitted  inference  be  received,  one  ninst  hold 
the  only  other  alternative,  namely,  that  the  hnnian 
will,  and  the  luiman  will  of  the  natural  man,  deter- 
mines the  question  of  salvation;  which  is  unscrip- 
tural,  impossible  and  absurd.  If  Jacob  was  not  de- 
termined to  salvation  by  God's  grace,  he  determined 
himself  to  it;  and  if  anything  is  certain,  it  is,  that 
Paul  never  taught  such  a  view. 

In  the  second  place,  it  is  contended  that  if  the 
sovereign,  unconditional  election  of  Jacob  to  salvation 
be  admitted,  one  must  also  concede  the  sovereign, 
unconditional  reprobation  of  Esau  ;  but  that,  it  is 
contended,  cannot  possibly  be  allowed.  Here  a  dis- 
tinction, which  has  been  already  stated,  must  be  ob- 
served— between  Jacob  and  Esau  as  both  possessed  of 
oriorinal  sin,  and  Ivinq:  toi2:ether  under  condemnation 
as  members  of  a  fallen  and  corrupt  race,  on  the  one 
hand,  and  Jacob  and  Esau  as  the  conscious  doers  of 
actual  good  or  evil,  on  the  other.  Regarded  as  in  the 
former  condition,  they  were  equally  damnable.  God 
might  justly  have  left  both  to  the  doom  which  was 
assigned  to  Esau.  But  without  regard  to  the  con- 
scious, special  good  works  of  Jacob,  as  conditions,  he 
was  sovereignly  pleased  to  confer  on  him  peculiar 
religious  privileges  and  his  saving  grace  ;  and  with- 
out regard  to  the  conscious,  special  bad  works  of 
Esau,  as  conditions,  he  was  sovereignly  pleased  to 
deny  him  peculiar  religious  privileges  and  his  saving 
grace.  It  is  certain  that  the  peculiar  religious  privi- 
leges were  denied  to  Esau,  but  the  denial  to  him  of 
saving  grace  is  the  stumbling-block. 

86       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism. 

Now  let  it  be  noticed  tliat  God  did  not  infuse  a 
wicked  disposition  into  Ksau,  as  lie  infused  a  gracious 
disposition    into  Jacob.      Finding    Bsau    wicked,    he 

I  sovereignly  left  him  in  that  condition,  and  judicially 
condemned  him   to  suffer  its  punishment.      Finding 

■  Jacob,  like  his  brother,  wicked,  he  sovereignly  lifted 
him  out  of  that  condition  by  his  unmerited  grace, 
and  in  Christ  his  representative  and  substitute  de- 
livered him  from  condemnation  and  destined  him  to 

Let  it  be  noticed  further,  that  God's  exclusion  of 
Esau  from  connection  with  the  Theocracy,  contain- 
ing the  visible  Church  of  Christ  with  its  ordinances, 
which  is  admitted,  was  equivalent  to  God's  exclusion 
of  him  from  liis  favor  which  is  life  and  his  dooming 
him  to  reprobacy.  If  it  be  said,  that  Esau's  exclusion 
from  the  fellowship  of  God's  people  was  in  conse- 
quence of  his  sins,  the  apostle  answers  that  it  was  not 
in  consequence  of  his  sins.  Before  he  had  done  any 
evil  he  was  hated  of  God.  It  will  still  be  said  :  that 
is  true ;  but  while  the  purpose  of  exclusion  was  be- 
fore Esau's  actual  sins,  it  was  not  before  God's  fore- 
knowledge of  them,  and  that  foreknowledge  con- 
ditioned the  purpose :  this  must  have  been  Paul's 
meaning.  But,  it  must  be  replied,  this  could  not 
have  been  Paul's  meaning.  He  could  not  have  in- 
tended to  distinguish  between  Esau's  actual  evil- 
doing  and  God's  foreknowledge  of  it.  He  could  not 
liave  meant  to  imph',  that  in  some  cases  God  foinns  a 
purpose  to  punish  an  evil-doer  after  he  has  done  the 
evil,  but  that  in  this  case  of  Esau  he  purposed,  before 
he  actually  did  evil,  to  punish  him,  because  he  fore- 
saw that  he  would  do  the  evil.      Such  a  conception 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  87 

never  was  suggested  by  inspiration  as  that  God  ever 
postpones  the  formation  of  a  pnrpose  to  punish  sin 
until  the  sin  has  been  committed.  All  his  purposes 
are  eternal.  The  only  supposition  possible  is,  tliat 
Paul  meant  to  say  that  it  was  not  because  God  fore- 
knew that  Esau  would  do  evil  that  he  purposed  to 
reject  him.  This  being  the  only  possible  supposition, 
the  conclusion  is  that  Paul  meant  to  affirm  that  God's 
purpose  as  to  Esau's  rejection  was  grounded  alone  in 
his  own  sovereign  pleasure. 

God's  decree  to  reject  Esau  was  not,  then,  without 
his  foreknowledge  of  Esau's  guilty  state  as  a  sinner, 
but  was  not  conditioned  upon  his  foreknowledge  of 
Esau's  conscious,  actual  sins.  So  God's  decree  to 
save  Jacob  was  not  without  his  foreknowledge  of 
Jacob's  guilty  state  as  a  sinner,  but  was  not  con- 
ditioned upon  his  foreknowledge  of  Jacob's  conscious, 
actual  good  works.  If  this  statement  of  the  case  is 
not  in  accord  with  Paul's,  nothing  would  remain  but 
to  adopt  the  rigid  Supralapsarian  view.  The  Ar- 
minian  position  cannot  be  harmonized  with  that  of 
the  inspired  apostle. 

It  has  thus  been  shown  that  the  account  of  Jacob 
and  Esau  in  the  ninth  chapter  of  Romans  so  far  from 
invalidating,  actually  confirms,  the  proofs  of  the 
sovereignty  and  unconditionality  of  God's  electing 
purpose.  The  subject  of  reprobation  will  meet  fur- 
ther consideration  in  the  sequel.  Let  us  resume  the 
thread  of  the  main  argument  which  goes  to  show  that 
the  passages  cited,  to  prove  that  the  ground  or  reason 
of  election  is  the  mere  good  pleasure  of  God's  will, 
from  Exodus,  Deuteronomy,  ■Nlalachi  and  Romans, 
do  not  refer  only  to  a  national  election  to  peculiar 

88       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni, 

privileges,  but  chiefly  to  an  individual  election  to 
eternal  life. 

Fifthly,  Paul  in  Romans  and  Galatians  explicitly 
distinguishes  between  those  whom,  on  the  one  hand^ 
he  designates  as  Israel  according  to  the  flesh,  outward 
Jews,  the  natural  descendants  of  Abraham,  and  those 
whom,  on  the  other,  he  characterizes  as  Israel  accord- 
ing to  the  Spirit,  inward  Jews,  the  true,  spiritual 
children  of  Abraham  and  heirs  of  the  promise.  Both 
these  classes  had  been  elected  to  the  enjoyment  of 
peculiar  privileges,  but  it  is  remarkable  that  he  terms 
the  latter  *'a  remnant  according  to  the  election  of 
grace.''  Here  then  is  a  palpable  distinction  between 
a  national  election  to  privileges  and  an  individual 
election  to  salvation.  Without  it  the  apostle's  lan- 
guage is  unintelligible. 

Sixthly,  the  consideration  which  is  perhaps  the 
most  conclusive  is,  that  these  passages  cannot  be 
wrested  from  their  place  in  the  analogy  of  Scripture. 
They  must  be  construed  in  harmony  with  such  clear 
and  powerful  testimonies  as  that  which  has  been  ad- 
duced from  the  Epistle  to  the  Ephesians.  To  pursue 
any  other  course  is  to  mutilate  the  integrity  of  God's 
Word.  What  is  gained  by  it  on  the  part  of  those  who 
admit  an  election  of  individuals  to  everlasting  life,  it 
is  difficult  to  imagine. 

Lastly,  the  objections  which  have  nearly  always 
been  offered  to  Paul's  doctrine  in  Romans  have  not 
been  urged  against  an  election  to  national  privileges, 
but  to  an  unconditional  election  of  individuals  to 
salvation.  Those  who  present  them  have  hit  the 
point :  that  is  to  say,  they  understand  Paul  to  teach 
this  objectionable   doctrine,   and    they   cannot   agree 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  89 

with  him.  It  is  not  probable  that  the  opponents 
alike  of  the  Pauline  and  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  have 
been  mistaken  as  to  the  identity  of  the  two.  It  is 
more  consistent,  if  not  more  pious,  to  hold  that  both 
are  erroneous  as  teaching  the  same  thing,  than  with 
the  Arminians  to  make  Paul  an  antagonist  of  the 
Calvinistic  doctrine,  which,  as  some  candid  infidel 
remarked,  is  as  much  like  his  own  as  if  he  had  spit  it 
out  of  his  mouth. 

(2.)  Negatively,  election  is  not  conditioned  by  the 
divine  foresight  of  any  good  qualities,  dispositions  or 
acts  of  those  who  are  elected  :  it  is  an  unconditional 

First^  All  the  passages  which  were  adduced  to 
prove  that  the  ground  or  reason  of  election  was  the 
mere  good  pleasure  of  God's  sovereign  will  may  here 
be  used  to  show  that  election  is  unconditioned  by  any 
foreseen  good  qualities,  dispositions  or  acts  of  man. 

Secondly^  Faith  is  not  a  condition  but  a  result  of 

John  vi.  l-]  \  ''  All  that  the  Father  giveth  me  shall 
come  to  me" — that  is,  shall  believe  in  me. 

John  vi.  65  :  ''And  he  said.  Therefore  said  I  unto 
you,  that  no  man  can  come  unto  me,  except  it  were 
given  unto  him  of  my  Father." 

Acts  xiii.  48  :  "As  many  as  were  ordained  to  eter- 
nal life  believed." 

Eph.  ii.  8:  "For  by  grace  are  ye  saved  through 
faith  ;  and  that  not  of  yourselves  :  it  is  the  gift  of 

Phil.  i.  29:  "For  unto  you  it  is  given  in  the  be- 
half of  Christ,  not  only  to  believe  on  him,  but  also  to 
suffer  for  his  sake." 

90       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianisni. 

Acts  xiv.  27:  "And  when  they  were  come,  and 
had  gathered  the  church  together,  they  rehearsed  all 
that  God  had  done  with  them,  and  how  he  had 
opened  the  door  of  faith  unto  the  Gentiles." 

Acts  xvi.  14:  "And  a  certain  woman  named 
Lydia,  a  seller  of  purple,  of  the  city  of  Thyatira, 
which  worshipped  God,  heard  us  :  whose  heart  the 
Lord  opened,  that  she  attended  unto  the  things  which 
were  spoken  of  Paul." 

Acts  V.  31  :  "A  Prince  and  a  Saviour,  for  to  give 
repentance  to  Israel."  Repentance  is  here  generic, 
including  faith. 

Lk.  xvii.  5:  "And  the  apostles  said  unto  the 
Lord,  Increase  our  faith." 

Heb.  xii.  2:  "Looking  unto  Jesus  the  author  and 
the  finisher  of  our  faith." 

Col.  ii.  12  :  "Buried  with  him  in  baptism,  wherein 
also  ye  are  risen  with  him  through  the  faith  of  the 
operation  of  God" — that  is,  the  faith  which  God's 
operation  produces. 

I  Cor.  xii.  9:  "To  another,  faith  by  the  same 

John  iii.  3  :  "Except  a  man  be  born  again,  he  can 
not  see  the  kingdom  of  God." 

Eph.  ii.  4-6:  "But  God  who  is  rich  in  mercy,  for 
his  great  love  wherewith  he  loved  us,  even  when  we 
were  dead  in  sins,  hath  quickened  us  together  with 
Christ,  (by  grace  ye  are  saved  ;)  and  hath  raised  us 
up  together." 

I  Tim.  i.  9:  "Who  hath  saved  us,  and  called  us 
with  an  holy  calling,  not  according  to  our  works,  but 
according  to  his  own  purpose  and  grace,  which  was 
given  us  in  Christ  Jesus  before  the  world  began." 

Elcclioi  Stated  and  Proved.  oi 

Jas.  i.  i8  :  "Of  his  own  will  begat  he  ns." 
I  Cor.  i.  26-31  :  "For  ye  see  3-our  calling-,  brethren, 
how  that  not  many  wise  men  after  the  flesh,  not 
many  mighty,  not  many  noble,  are  called  :  but  God 
hath  chosen  the  foolish  things  of  the  world  to  con- 
found the  wise ;  and  God  hath  chosen  the  weak 
things  of  the  world  to  confound  the  things  which  are 
mighty;  and  base  things  of  the  world,  and  things 
which  are  despised,  hath  God  chosen,  yea,  and  things 
which  are  not,  to  bring  to  nought  things  that  are  : 
that  no  flesh  should  glory  in  his  presence.  But  of  him 
are  ye  in  Christ  Jesus,  who  of  God  is  made  unto  us 
wisdom,  and  righteousness,  and  sanctification,  and 
redemption  :  that  according  as  it  is  written.  He  that 
glorieth  let  him  glory  in  the  Lord." 

These  testimonies  conclusively  prove  that  faith  is 
not  a  condition  but  a  fruit  of  election.  It  does  not 
condition  it,  for  it  is  produced  by  it.  The  Lord 
Jesus  explicitly  declares  that  faith  is  the  gift  of  God, 
and  that  if  God  did  not  give  it,  no  man  could  believe. 
Further  he  declares  that  the  elect  shall  believe  in 
him.  It  is  they  who  were  given  him  by  the  Father. 
If  all  men  were  given  him  by  the  Father,  then,  ac- 
cording to  his  testimony,  all  men  would  believe  in 
him.  But  all  men  do  not  believe.  The  conclusion 
is,  that  those  believe  in  him  who  were  elected  to 

In  the  celebrated  passage  in  the  second  chapter  of 
Ephesians,  the  words  "and  that  not  of  yourselves,  it 
is  the  gift  of  God"  have  by  some  been  understood  to 
refer  to  salvation— and  that  salvation  is  not  of  your- 
selves, it  is  the  gift  of  God;  by  others,  specifically  to 
faith — and  that  faith  is  not  of  yourselves,  it  is  the 

92       Calvinzsju  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

gift  of  God.  The  following  reasons  furnished  by 
Charles  Hodge  in  support  of  the  latter  view  appear  to 
my  mind  convincing:  "  i.  It  best  suits  the  design  of 
the  passage.  The  object  of  the  apostle  is  to  show  the 
gratuitous  nature  of  salvation.  This  is  most  effectu- 
ally done  by  saying,  'Ye  are  not  only  saved  by  faith 
in  opposition  to  works,  but  your  very  faith  is  not  of 
yourselves,  it  is  the  gift  of  God.'  2.  The  other  in- 
terpretation makes  the  passage  tautological.  To  say: 
'Ye  are  saved  by  faith;  not  of  yourselves;  your  sal- 
vation is  the  gift  of  God;  it  is  not  of  works,'  is 
saying  the  same  thing  over  and  over  without  any 
progress.  Whereas  to  say :  '  Ye  are  saved  through 
faith  (and  that  not  of  yourselves,  it  is  the  gift  of 
God),  not  of  works,'  is  not  repititious;  the  parenthet- 
ical clause  instead  of  being  redundant  does  good 
service  and  greatly  increases  the  force  of  the  passage. 
3.  According  to  this  interpretation,  the  antithesis 
between  faith  and  works,  so  common  in  Paul's  writ- 
ings, is  preserved.  'Ye  are  saved  by  faith,  not  by 
works,  lest  any  man  should  boast.'  The  middle 
clause  of  the  verse  is  therefore  parenthetical,  and 
refers  not  to  the  main  idea  ye  are  saved^  but  to  the 
subordinate  one  through  faith,  and  is  designed  to 
show  how  entirely  salvation  is  of  grace,  since  even 
faith,  by  which  we  apprehend  the  offered  mercy,  is 
the  gift  of  God.  4.  The  analogy  of  Scripture  is  in 
favor  of  this  view  of  the  passage,  in  so  far  that  else- 
where faith  is  represented  as  the  gift  of  God."^ 

To  say  .that  salvation  is  of  grace,  that  is,  that  it  is 
the  free  gift  of  God,  and  then  directly  afterwards  to 
say,  that  salvation  is  not  of  ourselves,  it  is  the  gift  of 
^On  Eph.  ii.  8. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved,  93 

God,  certainly  appears  redundant.  The  difficulty 
disappears  if  we  take  the  apostle's  meaning  to  be 
that  faith  is  the  gift  of  God.  But  whatever  view 
may  be  taken  of  that  passage,  other  testimonies  so 
expressly  affirm  faith  to  be  the  gift  of  God  that 
Arminian  writers  admit  the  fact.  John  Wesley,  who 
in  his  note  on  the  above  mentioned  text  says,  "  This 
refers  to  the  whole  preceding  clause:  that  ye  are 
saved  through  faith  is  the  gift  of  God,"  speaks  very 
explicitly  in  his  sermon  on  the  same  text,  entitled 
Salvation  by  Faith:  "For  by  grace  ye  are  saved 
through  faith;  and  that  not  of  yourselves.  Of  your- 
selves Cometh  neither  your  faith  nor  your  salvation. 
It  is  the  gift  of  God ;  the  free,  undeserved  gift,  the 
faith  through  which  ye  are  saved,  as  well  as  the 
salvation,  which  he  of  his  own  good  pleasure,  his 
mere  favor,  annexes  thereto."  Charles  Wesley,  in 
his  exquisite  hymn  beginning,  "Father,  I  stretch  my 
hands  to  thee"  makes  the  sinner  thus  plead: 

"Author  of  faith,  to  thee  I  lift 
My  weary,  lonoriu,^  eyes  ; 
Oh,  let  nie  now  receive  that  gift, 
My  soul  without  it  dies." 

Other  writers  make  the  same  scriptural  and  devout 
acknowledgment.  Here  then  the  Arminian  and  the 
Calvinist  certainly  speak  the  same  dialect.  One 
would  suppose  that  logic  would  constrain  both  to 
reason  thus  :  If  faith  is  the  gift  of  God,  he  must  be- 
stow it  because  he  purposed  to  bestow  it.  As  it  is  a 
fact  that  he  does  not  grant  it  to  all,  but  only  to  some, 
his  purpose  was  an  electing  purpose.  This  logic  is 
irresistible,  and  Fletcher  seemed  to  admit  its  force  in 
holding  an  unconditional  election  to  an  "initial  sal- 

94       Cah'inisin  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

vation."  The  same  logic,  however,  enforces  the 
holding  of  an  unconditional  election  to  final  salva- 
tion. For,  if  one  should  lose  his  initial  salvation, 
and  should  be  restored  and  finally  saved,  his  final 
salvation  would  be  conditional  upon  that  faith  which 
is  confessedly  the  gift  of  God.  He  could  not  be  saved 
initially  or  finally  without  faith,  and  faith  is  God's 
free  gift. 

In  admitting  that  faith  is  the  gift  of  God,  and  that 
faith  conditions  salvation,  the  Arminian  admits  effi- 
cacious grace,  and  is  logically  bound  to  concede  un- 
conditional electing  grace.  But  this  he  denies.  He 
is  therefore  compelled  to  reconcile  his  doctrine  that 
faith  is  the  gift  of  God  with  one  of  his  leading  posi- 
tions, namely,  that  the  sinner's  unconstrained  will 
determines  the  question  of  his  believing  or  not  believ- 
ing in  Christ  for  salvation.  Let  us  see  how  Dr. 
Whedon,  in  his  comments  upon  Eph.  ii.  8,  attempts 
to  effect  the  difficult  reconciliation.  "Faith,"  he 
says,  "is  indeed  empowered  in  us  by  the  grace  under- 
lying our  probation  ;  but  that  faith  freely  exercised 
by  us,  and  seen  by  God,  is  the  underlying  condition 
of  our  election  in  time  ;  and  foreseen  by  God,  is  the 
underlying  condition  in  our  eternal  election  before 
the  foundation  of  the  world."  ^ 

This  then  is  the  explanation.  Faith  is  distin- 
guished as  power  and  exercise  of  power.  God  gives 
the  power  to  believe,  but  the  sinner  himself  must 
actually  believe.  Faith  is  a  potentiality  which  may 
or  may  not  be  exerted.  There  is,  of  course,  some 
ground  in  common  here  betwixt  the  Arminian  and 

'"■  Dr.  James  Strong  emphasizes  the  same  distinction  between  the 
power  to  believe  and  its  exercise. 

Ekction  Stated  and  Proved.  95 

the  Calviiiist.  The  latter  no  more  holds  than  the 
former  that  God  believes  in  Christ  in  order  to  be 
saved.  It  is  the  sinner  himself  whoso  believes.  Bnt 
he  contends  that  in  bestowing-  the  principle  of  faith 
npon  the  sinner,  God  also  determines  him  to  believe. 
The  principle  never  slumbers  as  a  mere  potentiality — 
a  simple  capacity  to  believe.  Here  the  difference  be- 
tween the  parties  emerges  into  view.  The  Calvinist 
contends  that  God  gives  the  sinner  to  believe  ;  the 
Arminian,  that  God  only  gives  him  the  power  to  be- 
lieve, and  that  the  sinner  is  free  to  use  or  not  to  use 
that  power.  In  the  last  analysis,  it  is  his  own  will 
that  must  determine  the  question  whether  or  not  he 
will  employ  the  power  and  actually  believe,  and  so  it 
is  his  own  will,  as  Dr.  Raymond,  Dr.  Whedon  and 
Dr.  James  Strong  frankly  assert,  which  determines 
the  question  of  personal  salvation.  In  the  case  of 
every  actual  believer  in  Christ  there  must  come  a 
critical,  a  supreme  moment  when  the  power  to  be- 
lieve is  consciously  exercised.  The  Arminian  holds 
that  at  that  moment  it  is  not  God  who  by  his  effica- 
cious q^race  determines  the  sinner  to  exercise  faith, 
but  the  sinner  who  by  the  free,  elective  power  of  his 
own  will,  undetermined  by  a  supernatural  influence, 
determines  himself  to  believe.  This  is  clear,  for  by 
the  same  free  election  of  his  will  he  may  determine 
not  to  believe.  This,  together  with  the  doctrine  of 
Universal  Atonement,  is  the  key-position  of  the  Ar- 
minian system — the  Carthage  which  must  be  de- 
stroyed, or  the  system  stands.  In  this  discussion, 
therefore,  the  attack  will  be  made  persistently,  re- 
peatedly and  from  every  quarter,  upon  that  strong- 
hold.     Hence  no  apology  is  made  for  a  return  again 

96       Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Armiiiianism. 

and  again  to  the  consideration  of  this  question.  Just 
at  this  point  the  argument  is  urged  from  the  nature 
of  faith  as  a  product  of  divine,  supernatural  influence. 
The  disjunction  between  faith  as  a  potentiality  and 
as  an  actual  enero-v  is  inadmissible. 

In  the  first  place,  it  cannot  be  adjusted  to  the  plain 
teachings  of  the  Scriptures  which  have  been  adduced. 
The  Lord  Jesus  says  that  all  whom  the  Father  gave 
him  shall  come  to  him — that  is,  shall  believe  in  him. 
It  is  not  optional  with  those  thus  given  by  the 
Father  to  the  Son  to  be  redeemed  whether  they  will 
or  will  not  exercise  the  power  to  believe:  the  plan  of 
salvation,  the  gfift  of  the  Father,  the  enq:ao^ements  of 
the  Son,  require  the  actual  exercise  of  faith.  How 
otherwise  could  the  Son  declare  that  not  one  of  those 
given  to  him  should  be  lost?  There  is  not  a  feeble 
ewe  or  a  tender  lamb  that  will  be  missing,  when 
upon  the  list  of  the  Lamb's  book  of  life  he  renders 
an  account  of  the  flock  which  was  committed  to  him 
to  be  saved  from  sin  and  Satan,  death  and  hell. 
Luke  says  that  as  many  of  the  Gentiles  at  Antioch  as 
were  ordained  to  eternal  life  believed.  In  regard  to 
this  passage  the  doctors  differ:  each  has  his  own 
remedy  and  the  consultation  comes  to  naught.  Ben- 
gel  and  Wesley  take  the  word  "ordained"  to  refer 
to  a  present  operation  of  grace  through  the  preached 
gospel.  The  former  says  the  ordination  must  be  ex- 
plained of  "the  present  operation  of  grace  through 
the  gospel."^  The  latter  says:  "St.  Luke  does  not 
say  fore-ordained.  He  is  not  speaking  of  what  was 
done  from  eternity,  but  of  what  was  then  done, 
through  the  preaching  of  the  gospel.  He  is  describ- 
^  Prcsscnteni  graticT  opcrationcin  per  evangeliiun. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  97 

ing  that  ordination,  and  that  only,  which  was  at  the 
very  time  of  hearing  it.  Dnring  this  sermon  those 
believed,  says  the  apostle,  to  whom  God  then  gave 
the  power  to  believe.  It  is  as  if  he  had  said,  'They 
believed,  whose  hearts  the  Lord  opened;'  as  he  ex- 
presses it  in  a  clearly  parallel  place,  speaking  of  the 
same  kind  of  ordination.'"  There  are  but  two  re- 
marks which  it  is  necessary  to  make  concerning  this 
interpretation  :  first,  that  as  the  inspired  historian 
distinctly  says  the  Gentiles  mentioned  did  actually 
believe,  the  concession  that  this  was  effected  by  the 
operation  of  grace  explodes  this  distinction  between 
the  power  and  the  exercise  of  faith;  secondly,  that  if 
it  be  admitted  that*  God  operated  to  determine  these 
Gentiles  to  exercise  faith— and  that  is  admitted— he 
must  have  eternally  purposed  so  to  operate;  and  un- 
conditional election  follows.  No  wonder  that  the 
metaphysical  mind  of  Dr.  Whedon  refuses  to  accept 
this  extraordinary  testimony  of  Bengel  and  Wesley 
to  the  Calvinistic  doctrine. 

The  learned  divine  just  mentioned  gives  an  inter- 
pretation which  is  perfectly  consistent  with  tlie  dis- 
tinction between  the  power  to  believe  and  actual 
believing.  It  is  that  these  Gentiles,  Luke  meant  to 
say,  were  pre-disposed  to  eternal  life  and  so  de- 
termined themselves  to  believe.  The  exposition  is  so 
remarkable  that  it  will  be  given  entire:  "Ordained 
to  eternal  life — should  be  rendered,  disposed  to 
eternal  life.  It  plainly  refers  to  the  eager  predisposi- 
tion just  above  mentioned  in  the  heart  of  many  of 
these  Gentiles  on  learning  that  old  prophecy  pro- 
claims a  Messiah  for  them.     As  many  as  were  so  in- 

7  ^  Notes  in  loc. 

98      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

clined  to  the  eternal  life  now  offered  committed 
themselves  by  faith  to  the  blessed  Jesus.  Rarely  has 
a  text  been  so  violently  wrenched  from  iis  connec- 
tions with  the  context,  and  strained  beyond  its  mean- 
ing for  a  purpose,  than  has  been  this  clause  in  support 
of  the  doctrine  of  predestination.  There  is  not  the 
least  plausibility  in  the  notion  that  Luke  in  this 
simple  history  is  referring  to  any  eternal  purpose  pre- 
destinating these  men  to  eternal  life.  The  word  here 
rendered  ordained  usually  signifies  placed,  positioned, 
disposed.  It  may  refer  to  the  material  or  to  the 
mental  position.  It  is  a  verb  in  the  passive  form,  a 
form  which  possesses  a  reciprocal  active  meaning ; 
that  is,  it  frequently  signifies  an  cfction  performed  by 
one's  self  upon  one's  self  Thus,  in  Rom.  ix.  22, 
*The  vessels  of  wrath  fitted  to  destruction'  are  care- 
fully aflBrmed,  even  by  predestinarians,  to  be  fitted  by 
themselves.  Indeed,  the  very  Greek  word  here 
rendered  ordained  is  frequently  used,  compounded 
with  a  preposition,  in  the  New  Testament  itself,  in 
the  passive  form  with  a  reciprocal  meaning.  Thus, 
Rom.  xiii.  i,  'Be  subject  unto  the  higher  powers' 
is  literally,  place  yourselves  under  the  higher  powers. 
So,  also,  Rom.  viii.  7  ;  i  Cor.  xvi.  16  ;  Jas.  iv.  7,  and 
many  other  texts.  The  meaning  we  give  is  required 
by  the  antithesis  between  the  Jews  in  verse  46  and 
these  Gentiles.  The  former  were  indisposed  to 
eternal  life,  and  so  believed  not  ;  these  were  predis- 
posed to  eternal  life,  and  so  believed.  The  perma- 
nent faith  of  the  soul  was  consequent  upon  the 
predisposition  of  the  heart  and  the  predetermination 
of  the  will."  ^  In  regard  to  this  exposition  I  remark: 
^  Comra.  on  x\cts,  xiii.  48. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  99 

First,  the  learned  coinmeiitator  does  not  say  any- 
thing in  respect  to  the  sonrce  of  this  predisposition. 
If  he  meant  that  it  was  natnral,  the  position  is 
Pelao-ian.  If,  that  it  was  the  prodnct  of  snpernatnral 
grace,  that  is,  the  gift  of  the  power  to  believe,  he 
wonld  speak  inconsistently  with  himself,  for  he  says 
that  "the  permanent  faith  of  the  sonl  was  consequent 
upon  the  predisposition."  A  permanent  faith  must, 
as  a  state,  antecede  acts  of  faith  and  would  be  the 
power  to  believe — predisposing  to  the  exercise  of 

Secondly,  the  predisposition  of  these  heathen  to 
receive  the  gospel  and  their  facile  determination  to 
believe  in  Christ  would  have  been  an  astonishing 
exception  to  the  facts  of  universal  observation. 
There  certainly  is  no  parallel  to  their  case  in  the 
history  of  modern  missions.  These  heathen  of 
Antioch  were  extremely  peculiar.  The  presumption 
derived  from  missionary  experience  is  powerfully 
against  Dr.  Whedon's  hypothesis  of  the  marvellous 
readiness  of  these  Gentiles  to  embrace  the  Gospel. 
To  say  that  God's  grace  made  the  exception  would  be 
to  occupy  Calvinistic  ground.  To  suppose  a  miracu- 
lous influence  would  amount  to  the  same  thing,  since 
the  miracle  would  have  been  one  of  grace. 

Thirdly,  the  assertion  of  the  possession  by  these 
pagans  of  a  self-determining  power  of  the  will  in  a 
state  of  sin  and  in  relation  to  spiritual  things  involv- 
ino;  the  salvation  of  the  soul,  if  Dr.  Whedon's  con- 
struction  of  his  theological  system  be  correct,  leaves 
no  room  to  doubt  that  in  this  respect  that  system 
embraces  as  one  of  its  distinctive  characteristics  an 
element  common  to  Pelagians  and  Semi-Pelagians. 

lOO     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianis77i. 

"They  all  agree,"  says  John  Owen,  "that  it  is  ab- 
solutely in  the  power  of  the  will  of  man  to  make  use 
of  it  [grace]  or  not,  that  is,  of  the  whole  effect  on 
them,  or  product  in  them,  of  this  grace  communicated 
in  the  way  described  ;  for  notwithstanding  anything 
wrought  in  us  or  upon  us  thereby,  the  will  is  still 
left  various,  flexible  and  undetermined."^  This  fact 
ought  to  challenge  the  attention  of  God's  true  people 
in  the  Arminian  communions.  There  is  evidently  a 
growing  tendency  to  attach  more  importance  than 
Wesley  did  to  the  doctrine  that  the  will  of  the  sinner 
determines  the  question  of  practical  salvation.  The 
doctrine  is  palpably  opposed  alike  to  the  plain  teach- 
ing of  the  Word  of  God,  and  the  experience  of  those 
w^ho  know  their  own  natural  impotence  and  the 
power  of  converting  grace.  It  would  seem  that  such 
evangelical  writers  as  Bengel  and  Wesley  preferred  to 
shun  the  whirlpool  of  Dr.  Whedon's  view,  even  if 
they  ran  the  danger  of  striking  upon  the  rock  of  the 

Another  interpretation  of  this  passage  in  Acts  is 
that  of  Meyer. "^  He  says  that  these  Gentiles  at 
Antioch  were  not  ordained — ordinati^  but  destined — 
destinati^  to  eternal  life ;  and  that  the  destination 
was  conditioned  upon  the  divine  foresight  that  they 
would  become  believers — credituros.  This  interpre- 
tation is  open  to  two  objections.  First,  the  distinc- 
tion between  an  eternal  ordination  and  an  eternal 
destination  might  have  been  visible  to  the  "optics 
sharp"  of  the  astute  German,  but  not  to  the  eye  of 
common  sense.      It  is  a  trivial  distinction.      Secondly, 

^  IVorks,  vol.  iii.  p.  308,  Goold's  Ed.,  1852. 
^  Comm.  on  Acts. 

Election  Stated  a?td  Proved.  loi 

if  the  Gentiles  at  Antioch  were  destined  by  God,  in 
conseqnence  of  his  foresight  of  their  faith,  to  eternal 
life,  every  one  of  them  was,  of  conrse,  saved.  The 
conseqnence  refntes  the  interpretation  to  the  Ar- 
minian,  who  wonld  otherwise  have  been  naturally  led 
by  the  analogy  of  his  system  to  adopt  it.  He  wonld 
accept  the  destination  to  eternal  life  of  all  who  are 
foreknown  to  persevere  in  faith  to  the  end,  but  not 
of  those  who  are  only  foreknown  to  accept  by  faith 
an  initial  salvation,  and  that  is  all  the  record  war- 
rants us  in  holding  concerning  the  conscious  acts  of 
these  Gentile  believers  at  Antioch.  Meyer  is  one- 
lialf  Arminian,  one  quarter  Calvinist,  and  the  remain- 
ing quarter  siii generis :  Arminian,  in  that  he  holds; 
the  foresight  of  faith  to  condition  the  divine  purpose 
to  save;  Calvinist,  in  that  the  divine  purpose  ensures 
the  final  salvation  of  those  who  believe  in  the  first 
instance;  and  Meyerite,  in  that  he  holds  that  the 
divine  purpose  destines  believers,  but  does  not  ordain 
them,  to  eternal  life.  But  what  matter?  He  is  not 
a  slave  to  a  dogmatic  system  ;  he  is  a  free  exegete ! 
He  is  at  liberty  to  make  one  passage  of  Scripture 
contradict  another!  Must  Scripture  be  shackled  by 
dogmatic  theology?  Meanwhile  ordinary  believers 
will  think  the  Bible,  like  its  God,  consistent  with 
itself  It  is  Arminian  throughout  or  Calvinistic 
throughout.      The  old  question  still  remains,  which? 

These  conflicting  witnesses  damage  each  other's 
testimony.  The  plain  meaning  of  the  inspired  his- 
torian is,  that  God  purposed  that  these  Gentiles 
should  actually  believe  in  Christ  and  that  through 
their  faith  they  should  be  eternally  saved. 

Paul,  in  Philippians,  declares  that  it  is  given  to  us 

102      Calvinism  and  Erano'clical  Anninianisiu. 

to  believe  on  Christ.  The  evasion  is  nothing  worth, 
that  he  speaks  of  tliose  who  are  already  believers. 
For  if  the  continued  exercise  of  faith  be  a  divine  gift, 
so  must  its  first  exercise  have  been.  He  says,  in 
Colossians,  that  we  are  risen  with  Christ  through  the 
faith  which  God  operates  in  us.  If  we  be  actually 
risen  with  Christ,  we  must  have  actually  believed  in 
him.  The  resurrection  and  the  means  are  both  di- 
vinely wrought  in  us.  The  apostles  prayed  to  Jesus 
to  increase  their  faith — both  the  principle  and  its 
fruit.  He  alone  who  could  increase  both  could  give 
both.  Some  believe,  says  Paul,  in  i  Corinthians,  not 
because  of  any  difference  in  predisposing  gifts,  not 
because  thev  are  noble  and  wise  and  micrhtv  or  be- 
cause  they  were  anything  at  all,  but  because  God 
effectually  calls  them  by  his  Spirit  to  believe.  But 
why  particularize?  The  doctrine  explicitly  deliv- 
ered, concerning  the  regeneration  by  supernatural, 
new-creating,  life-giving  grace  of  the  spiritually  dead, 
makes  it  plain  enough  for  the  blind  to  see  and  the 
deaf  to  hear  and  the  dumb  to  confess,  that  faith  in 
Christ  both  in  principle  and  in  exercise  is  the  free 
gift  of  God,  according  to  the  eternal  purpose  of  his 
merciful  will. 

In  the  second  place,  the  position  that  faith  is  the 
gift  of  God  merely  as  a  power  and  not  as  an  exercise 
of  power  is  out  of  harmony  with  the  views  of  Wesley 
himself.  He  held  that  God  in  giving  salvation — as  a 
present  fact — gives  faith.  It  is  an  indispensable  con- 
dition of  the  salvation  gratuitously  bestowed.  But  if 
we  are  actually  saved  by  grace,  it  follows  that  by 
grace  we  actually  believe. 

In  the  third  place,   evangelical   faith   which,   as   a 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  103 

power,  is  confessed  to  be  a  divine  gift  implies  the 
possession  of  spiritual  life— that  is,  a  holy  life  siiper- 
natnrally  imparted.  With  one  who  denies  this  there 
can  be  on  the  question  before  us  no  debate :  he  flatly 
denies  the  Scriptures.  But  every  principle  of  life, 
whether  natural  or  spiritual,  enters  into  and  vitalizes 
every  part  and  faculty  of  the  being  in  which  it  in- 
heres. It  must  by  virtue  of  a  spontaneous  necessity 
express  itself  in  the  will  as  well  as  in  every  other 
faculty.  To  say  that  one  may  have,  and  continue  to 
enjov,  natural  life  and  that  he  might  by  the  election 
of  his  will  refuse  to  perform  the  spontaneous  functions 
appropriate  to  it— to  breathe,  to  eat,  for  example, 
would  be  to  speak  unintelligibly.  Certain  special 
acts  he  may  resolve  or  decline  to  do,  but  the  main 
functions  he  cannot  decline  to  perform.  He  must  in 
some  way  express  the  power  resident  in  the  principle 
of  life.  That  it  is  competent  to  the  will  to  resolve 
not  to  express  it  at  all  is  simply  out  of  the  question. 
In  like  manner  he  who  possesses  spiritual  life  must 
give  expression  to  it  in  some  functions  appropriate  to 
it.  It  is  not  within  the  ability  of  the  will  absolutely 
to  suppress  its  manifestation.  The  supposition  is  im- 
possible, that  the  will,  as  an  element  of  the  renewed 
and  holy  nature,  could  choose  not  to  express  the 
spontaneous  tendencies  of  the  spiritual  life.  That 
life  flows  into  the  will  and  impresses  upon  it  the  very 
law  of  its  spontaneity.  The  will  thus  spiritually 
vitalized  may  elect  between  holy  acts,  but  that  it 
should  elect  not  to  perform  any  holy  act  whatsoever 
— that  is  inconceivable.  A  spiritually  living  will 
must  expi-ess  by  its  decisions,  in  some  form,  a  spiritu- 
ally living   nature,   a  nature  consisting   of   the  will 

I04     Calvinism  and  Evajtgelical  Arminianism. 

itself  as  well  as  the  intellect  and  the  feelings, — ninst, 
I  say,  not  by  the  compulsion  of  an  external  force,  but 
by  the  holy  spontaneity  resident  in  itself.  The  adult, 
who  is  born  again  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  as  certainly 
turns,  in  obedience  to  the  instincts  of  his  new  nature, 
to  Jesus  Christ  for  salvation,  and  actually  and  con- 
sciously believes  in  him,  as  the  new-born  infant  turns, 
in  conformity  with  its  natural  instincts,  to  the  fount- 
ain of  nourishment  in  its  mother's  breast.  No  more 
could  he  by  an  act  of  will  refuse  to  do  this  and  con- 
tinue to  live  spiritually,  than  could  a  man  decline  to 
eat  and  maintain  his  corporeal  life.  In  fine,  if  the 
supernatural  gift  of  the  power  to  believe  in  Christ  has 
been  conferred  on  one,  and  he  consequently  possesses 
a  spiritually  living  principle,  he  will  by  a  ''happy 
necessity  "  of  spontaneous  action  choose  actually  to 
believe  in  Christ.  He  cannot,  as  a  renewed  man, 
choose  not  to  believe.  His  will  has  an  elective  affin- 
ity for  Christ  which  must  express  itself  by  the  act  of 
faith  in  him.  The  element  of  sin  still  remaining  in 
him  may  protest  and  resist,  but  cannot  prevent  the 
action  of  the  renewed  will. 

It  is  true  that  there  is  a  habit  or  state  of  faith  in 
the  Christian  man  which  is  distinguishable  from  the 
special  acts  or  exercises  of  faith,  but  that  state  in- 
volves acquiescence  in  the  plan  of  salvation  and  trust 
in  Christ  ;  and  it  can  never  be  forgotten  that  such  a 
man  could  not,  by  a  deliberate  decision  of  his  will, 
refuse  to  believe  in  his  Saviour. 

The  question  of  the  self-determining  action  of  the 
will  in  regard  to  the  actual  ex.ercise  of  faith  in  Christ 
will  meet  us  again  in  the  course  of  the  discussion. 
At  present  it  is  sufficient  to  have  established  the  posi- 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  105 

tion  that  faith  is  a  result  of  election,  and  therefore 
cannot  be  a  condition  of  it. 

Thirdly^  A  holy  disposition  and  good  works  are 
not  conditions,  but  results,  of  election. 

Isa.  xxvi.  12:  "Lord,  thou  wilt  ordain  peace  for 
us:  for  thou  hast  wrought  all  our  works  in  us." 

Acts  V.  31:  "Him  hath  God  exalted  with  his 
right  hand  to  be  a  Prince  and  a  Saviour,  for  to  give 
repentance  to  Israel." 

Rom.  viii.  29:  "Whom  he  did  foreknow,  he  also 
did  predestinate  to  be  conformed  to  the  image  of  his 

Rom.  ix.  II.  "For  the  children  being  not  yet 
born,  neither  having  done  any  good  or  evil,  that  the 
purpose  of  God  according  to  election  might  stand, 
not  of  works,  but  of  him  that  calleth." 

Eph.  i.  3,  4:  "Blessed  be  the  God  and  Father  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  who  hath  blessed  us  with  all 
spiritual  blessings  in  heavenly  places  in  Clirist:  ac- 
cording as  he  hath  chosen  us  in  him  before  the 
foundation  of  the  world,  that  we  should  be  holy  and 
without  blame  before  him  in  love." 

Eph.  ii.  10:  "For  we  are  his  workmanship,  cre- 
ated in  Christ  Jesus  unto  good  works,  which  God 
hath  before  ordained  that  we  should  walk  in  them." 

Phil.  ii.  12,  13:  "Work  out  your  own  salvation 
with  fear  and  trembling.  For  it  is  God  which 
worketh  in  you  both  to  will  and  to  do  of  his  good 

2  Thess.  ii.  13:  "God  hath  from  the  beginning 
chosen  you  to  salvation  through  sanctification  of  the 
Spirit  and  belief  of  the  truth." 

2  Tim.   i.   9:    "Who  hath  saved  us  and  called  us 

io6     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

with  an  holy  calling,  not  according  to  our  works, 
but  according  to  his  own  purpose  and  grace,  which 
w^as  given  us  in  Christ  Jesus  before  the  world  began." 

I  Pet.  i.  2:  "Elect  according  to  the  foreknowl- 
edge of  God  the  Father,  through  sanctification  of 
the  Spirit,  unto  obedience  and  sprinkling  of  the 
blood  of  Jesus  Christ." 

The  consideration  of  those  passages  in  this  collec- 
tion in  which  foreknowledge  is  connected  with 
election  is  reserved  until  the  direct  proof-texts  cited 
in  favor  of  conditional  election  shall  be  examined. 
The  other  passages  are  so  definite  in  asserting  that 
holy  obedience  is  the  fruit  and  not  the  condition  of 
election  that  they  must  be  twisted  to  make  them 
teach  anything  else.  Wesley  and  Whedon,  in  order 
to  escape  the  force  of  the  testimony  in  the  fifth 
chapter  of  Acts  distinguish  between  the  giving  of 
repentance  and  the  giving  of  forgiveness.  Forgive- 
ness is  a  direct  gift,  but  as  man  must  himself  repent 
it  is  the  power  to  repent  which  is  given.  Whedon 
remarks:  "Repentance,  being  a  human  act,  can 
hardly  be  said  strictly  and  simply  to  be  given,  and 
therefore  it  would  seem  that  it  is  the  privilege  or 
power  of  repentance  which  is  here  meant."  /NotX 
only  the  Holy  Spirit,  but  even  Meyer  is  against  him  J 
here.l  He  says:  "Nor  merely  the  impulse  and  occa- 
sion given  .  .  .  Against  this  view  may  be  urged  the 
appended  'and  forgiveness  of  sins,'  which  is  not 
compatible  with  that  more  free  understanding  of  '  to 
give.'"  That  is  to  say,  the  gift  of  repentance  and 
that  of  forgiveness  stand  on  the  same  foot.  One  is 
oiven  in  the  same  wav  as  the  other. 

It  must  not  be  overlooked  that  there  is  a  wide  and 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  107 

a  narrow  sense  of  the  term  repentance.     In  theologi- 
cal usage  it   has  now  come   to  be  synonymous  with 
penitence — grief  for  and  hatred  of  sin,  and  a  sincere 
turning  from  it  to  God.      But  in  the  New  Testament 
it    is    usually    employed    in    a    broad,    generic   sense 
equivalent   to   conversion,   including  the  new  birth,     ^ 
faith  in  Christ  and  penitence.      This  is  the  sense  in    ^ 
which  Peter  in  his  pentecostal  sermon  used  it,  when, 
in  response  to  the  inquiry,  ''Men  and  brethren,  what 
shall   we  do?"   he  said,  "Repent  and  be  baptized." 
Only  in   this  way  can  his  answer  to  these  inquirers    ^^ 
concerning  the  way  of  salvation  be  harmonized  with 
the  more  specific  direction  of  the  Lord  Jesus  under 
similar  circumstances:    "This    is   the  work   of  God 
that  ye  believe  on  him  whom  he  hath  sent;"  and  of 
Paul  and   Silas  to  the  convicted  jailer  at  Philippi  : 
"  Believe  on  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  and  thou  shalt  be 
saved."     They  put  faith  forward,  as  the  first  duty  of 
the  sinner.      Peter  could   not  have  meant   to  put  for- 
ward  penitence  as  the  first  duty  ;  he  must  have  in- 
tended to  say:  Be  converted — be  born  again,  believe 
in   Christ  and   turn   from   your  sins,  with  sorrow  for 
them,    unto   God.      From    this    Scriptural    point   of 
view,  repentance  must  be  regarded  as  given  of  God — 
as  a  change  operated  in  the  sinner  by  supernaturally 
communicated    grace.     And    as    what   God    does   in 
time,  he  must  have  eternally  purposed  to  do,  conver- 
sion as  embracing  faith  and  penitence  cannot  be  con- 
ceived as  both  an  effect  and  condition  of  election. 

The  testimony  in  Eph.  i.  4  is  indisputable.  Ar- 
minians  are  compelled  to  evade  it.  For  example, 
Wesley  says  upon  the  text :  "  '  As  he  hath  chosen  us' 
— both   Jews    and    Gentiles,    whom    he    foreknew    as 

io8     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisin. 

believing  in  Christ."  That  is,  he  chose  us  because 
he  foreknew  that  we  would  be  holy.  But  Paul  says 
just  the  opposite :  he  chose  us  that  we  should  be 
holy.  So  clear  is  the  affirmation  that  holiness  is  the 
effect  of  election,  that  even  Meyer  and  Ellicott  both 
acknowledge  that  the  Greek  infinitive  rendered  "that 
we  should  be"  is  one  of  intention — in  order  that  we 
should  be  holy.  Eph.  ii.  lo  is  equally  incontestable, 
as  showing  how  the  divine  election  accomplishes 
holiness.  God,  having  elected  us  in  order  that  we 
should  be  holy,  creates  us,  as  his  workmanship,  anew 
in  Christ  Jesus,  to  the  end  that  we  should  do  good 
works.  Ellicott  insists  upon  the  telic  force  of  the 
last  clause.  The  two  passages  taken  together  make 
it  as  plain  as  day  to  the  humble  inquirer  into  the  mind 
of  the  Spirit,  that  holy  obedience  is  the  fruit  and  not 
the  condition  of  election. 

Fourthly^  Perseverance  to  the  end  in  faith  and  holy 
obedience  is  not  a  condition  but  a  result  of  election. 

Ps.  cxxxviii.  8:  "The  Lord  will  perfect  that 
which  concerneth  me  ;  thy  mercy,  O  Lord,  endureth 
forever :  forsake  not  the  works  of  thine  own  hands." 

Ps.  Ixxxix.  19,  20,  28,  30-35  :  "Then  thou  spakest 
in  vision  to  thy  holy  one,  and  saidst,  I  have  laid  help 
upon  one  that  is  mighty  ;  I  have  exalted  one  chosen 
out  of  the  people.  I  have  found  David  my  servant  ; 
with  my  holy  oil  have  I  anointed  him  .  .  .  My 
mercy  will  I  keep  for  him  forevermore,  and  my  cov- 
enant shall  stand  fast  with  him.  ...  If  his  children 
forsake  my  law  and  walk  not  in  my  judgments  ;  if 
they  break  my  statutes  and  keep  not  my  command- 
ments ;  then  will  I  visit  their  transgression  with  the 
rod,    and    their  iniquity  with  stripes.     Nevertheless 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  109 

my  loving--kindness  will  I  not  utterly  take  from  him, 
nor  suffer  my  faithfulness  to  fail.  My  covenant  will 
I  not  break,  nor  alter  the  thing  that  is  gone  out  of 
my  lips.  Once  have  I  sworn  by  my  holiness  that  I 
will  not  lie  unto  David." 

Ps.  xciv.  18:  "When  I  said,  My  foot  slippeth,  thy 
mercy,  O  Lord,  held  me  up." 

Lsa.  xlix.  15  and  liv.  8,  10  :  "Can  a  woman  forget 
her  sucking  child,  that  she  should  not  have  compas- 
sion on  the  son  of  her  womb?  Yea,  they  may  forget, 
yet  will  I  not  forget  thee."  "In  a  little  wrath  I  hid 
my  face  from  thee  for  a  moment ;  but  with  everlasting 
kindness  will  I  have  mercy  on  thee,  saith  the  Lord 
thy  Redeemer.  .  .  .  For  the  mountains  shall  depart, 
and  the  hills  be  removed  ;  but  my  kindness  shall  not 
depart  from  thee,  neither  shall  the  covenant  of  my 
peace  be  removed,  saith  the  Lord  that  hath  mercy  on 

I\Iic.  vii.  20:  "Thou  wilt  perform  the  truth  to 
Jacob,  and  the  mercy  to  Abraham,  which  thou  hast 
sworn  unto  our  fathers  from  the  days  of  old." 

Matt.  XXV.  34:  "Come,  ye  blessed  of  my  Father, 
inherit  the  kingdom  prepared  for  you  from  the 
foundation  of  the  world." 

Lk.  xii.  32:  "Fear  not,  little  flock,  for  it  is  your 
Father's  good  pleasure  [purpose]  to  give  you  the 

John  vi.  37-40,  44-47  :  '^  All  that  the  Father  giveth 
me  shall  come  to  me  ;  and  him  that  cometh  to  me  I 
will  in  no  wise  cast  out.  For  I  came  down  from 
heaven,  not  to  do  mine  own  will,  but  the  will  of  him 
that  sent  me.  And  this  is  the  Father's  will  which 
hath  sent  me,  that  of  all  which  he  hath  given  me  I 

no     Calviiiisni  and  Evanoclical  Arniinianisin. 


should  lose  nothing,  but  should  raise  it  up  again  at 
the  last  day.  And  this  is  the  will  of  him  that  sent 
me,  that  every  one  which  seeth  the  Son,  and  b^- 
lieveth  on  him,  may  have  everlasting  life:  and  I  wall 
raise  him  up  at  the  last  day."  "No  man  can  come 
to  me,  except  the  Father  which  hath  sent  me  draw 
him  :  and  I  will  raise  him  up  at  the  last  day.  .  It  is 
w^ritten  in  the  prophets,  x\nd  they  shall  be  all  taught 
of  God.  Every  man  tlierefore  that  hath  heard,  and 
hath  learned  of  the  Father,  conieth  unto  me.  Not 
that  any  man  hath  seen  the  Father,  save  he  which  is 
of  God,  he  hath  seen  the  Father.  Verily,  verily,  I 
say  unto  you,  He  that  believeth  on  me  hath  everlast- 
ing life." 

John  X.  11-16,  26-30:  "I  am  the  good  shepherd: 
the  good  shepherd  giveth  his  life  for  the  sheep.  For 
he  that  is  an  hireling,  and  not  the  shepherd,  whose 
own  the  sheep  are  not,  seeth  the  wolf  coming,  and 
leaveth  the  sheep,  and  fleeth  :  and  the  wolf  catcheth 
them,  and  scattereth  the  sheep.  The  hireling  fleeth, 
because  he  is  an  hireling,  and  careth  not  for  the 
sheep.  I  am  the  good  shepherd,  and  know  my 
sheep,  and  am  kuowui  of  mine.  As  the  Father 
knoweth  me,  even  so  know  I  the  Father :  and  I  lay 
down  my  life  for  the  sheep.  And  other  sheep  I  have, 
which  are  not  of  this  fold  :  them  also  I  must  brino-, 
and  they  shall  hear  my  voice  ;  and  there  shall  be  one 
fold  and  one  shepherd."  "But  ye  believe  not,  be- 
cause ye  are  not  of  my  sheep,  as  I  said  unto  you. 
My  sheep  hear  my  voice,  and  I  know  them,  and  they 
follow  me  :  and  I  give  unto  them  eternal  life  ;  and 
they  shall  never  perish,  neither  shall  any  (man)  pluck 
them  out  of  my  hand.      My  Father  which  gave  them 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  iii 

me,  is  greater  tlian  all  ;  and  no  man  [none]  is  able  to 
pi  nek  them  ont  of  my  Father's  hand.  I  and  my  Fa- 
ther are  one." 

John  xvii.  ii  :  "Holy  Father,  keep  throngh  thine 
•own  name  those  whom  thou  hast  given  me." 

Acts  ii.  47  :  "And  the  Lord  added  to  the  church 
daily  such  as  should  be  saved  [saved  ones]." 

Rom.  V,  8-IO  :  "God  commendetli  his  love  toward 
us,  in  that,  while  we  were  yet  sinners,  Christ  died  for 
us.  I\Iuch  more  then,  being  now  justified  by  his 
blood,  we  shall  be  saved  from  wrath  through  him. 
For  if,  when  we  w^ere  enemies,  we  were  reconciled  to 
God  by  the  death  of  his  Son,  much  more,  being 
reconciled,  we  shall  be  saved  by  his  life." 

Rom.  viii.  38,  39:  "For  I  am  persuaded  that 
neither  death,  nor  life,  nor  angels,  nor  principalities, 
nor  powers,  nor  things  present,  nor  things  to  come, 
nor  height,  nor  depth,  nor  any  other  creature,  shall 
be  able  to  separate  us  from  the  love  of  God  which  is 
in  Christ  Jesus  our  Lord." 

I  Cor.  i.  4,  8  :  "I  thank  my  God  always  on  your 
behalf,  for  the  grace  of  God  which  is  given  you  by 
Jesus  Christ  .  .  .  Who  shall  also  confirm  you  unto 
the  end,  that  ye  may  be  blameless  in  the  day  of  our 
Lord  Jesus  Christ." 

Eph.  ii.  4,  5  :  "But  God,  who  is  rich  in  mercy,  for 
his  great  love  wherewith  he  loved  us,  even  when  we 
were  dead  in  sins,  hath  quickened  us  together  with 
Christ.  .  .  .  That  in  the  ages  to  come  he  might 
shew  the  exceeding  riches  of  his  grace  in  his  kind- 
ness toward  us  through  Christ  Jesus. " 

Phil.  i.  3,  6:  "I  thank  my  God  upon  every  re- 
membrance of  you  .    .    .  being  confident  of  this  very 

112      Calvinism  and  Evang^elical  Arminianisni. 


thing,  that  he  which  hath  begun  a  good  work  in  you 
will  perform  it  until  the  day  of  Jesus  Christ." 

1  Thess.  V.  23,  24:  "And  the  very  God  of  peace 
sanctify  you  wholly ;  and  I  pray  God  your  whole 
spirit  and  soul  and  body  be  preserved  blameless  unto 
the  coming  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  Faithful  is  he 
that  calleth  you,  who  also  will  do  it." 

2  Tim.  iv.  18:  "And  the  Lord  shall  deliver  me 
from  every  evil  work,  and  will  preserve  me  unto  his 
heavenly  kingdom." 

Heb.  xiii.  5:  "  For  he  hath  said,  I  will  never  leave 
thee,  nor  forsake  thee." 

I  Pet.  i.  3-5:  "Blessed  be  the  God  and  Father  of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  which  according  to  his  abun- 
dant mercy  hath  begotten  us  again  unto  a  lively 
hope,  by  the  resurrection  of  Jesus  Christ  from  the 
dead,  to  an  inheritance  incorruptible,  and  undefiled, 
and  that  fadetli  not  away,  reserved  in  heaven  for  you, 
who  are  kept  by  the  power  of  God  through  faith  unto 
salvation  ready  to  be  revealed  in  the  last  time." 

Jude  I,  24,  25:  "Jude,  the  servant  of  Jesus  Christ, 
and  brother  of  James,  to  them  which  are  sanctified  by 
God  the  Father,  and  preserved  in  Jesus  Christ,  and 
called."  "Now  unto  him  that  is  able  to  keep  you 
from  falling,  and  to  present  you  faultless  before  the 
presence  of  his  glory  with  exceeding  joy,  to  the  only 
wise  God  our  Saviour,  be  glory  and  majesty,  domin- 
ion and  power,  both  now  and  forever.     Amen." 

Time  would  fail  to  enter  into  a  particular  analysis 
of  these  passages.  Taken  collectively,  they  furnish 
a  great  mass  of  proof  that  God  will  preserve  his 
people  to  everlasting  life  in  heaven;  and  that  his 
preservation  of  them  is  due  to  his  eternal  purpose. 

Elextion  Stated  and  Proved.  113 

It  would  be  enough  to  establish  the  point  before  us 
if  they  did  no  more — and  they  certainly  do  that — 
than  to  prove  that  believers  are  chosen  or  elected 
unto  salvation.  In  the  Scriptures  salvation  is  some- 
times made  to  include  regeneration,  justification, 
adoption,  sanctification  and  glorification:  these  are 
the  parts  embraced  in  it  as  a  whole.  Sometimes 
it  simply  means  glorification — the  possession  of 
heavenly  felicity  and  glory  as  the  consummate  result 
and  crown  of  the  whole  scheme.  Take  it  either  way, 
and  election  to  salvation  is  election  to  perseverance. 
The  operative  grace  of  God  as  the  fruit  of  election 
determines  to  the  means  and  the  end  alike  or  rather 
to  all  the  parts  and  to  the  whole.  If,  for  example, 
it  determined  to  faith  as  a  means  to  a  losable  justifi- 
cation, it  would  not  determine  to  salvation.  But  he 
that  believeth  shall  be  saved.  What  sort  of  salvation 
is  that  which  may  be  lost?  How  is  he  saved  from 
hell  wdio  finally  sinks  into  it?  He  who  is  justified  is 
glorified.  The  beginning  is  due  to  predestination, 
and  by  it  is  linked  to  the  end.  Every  part  of  sal-- 
vation  and  the  whole  of  it  are  referred  to  God's  elect- 
ing purpose. 

The  passages  which  have  been  quoted  abundantly  \ 
prove  that  faith,  good  works,  and  perseverance  in 
the  same  to  the  end  are  not  conditions,  but  results, 
of  election.  In  eternally  predestinating  the  glorifi- 
cation of  his  people,  God  also  predestinated  the 
means  to  the  accomplishment  of  that  end  :  means 
which  he  himself  purposed  to  employ  and  to  deter- 
mine them  by  his  grace  to  use. 

And  to  these  testimonies  is  now  added  an  explicit 
assertion  of  the  fact    that  election  is  unconditional. 

114     Calvinis7n  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

In  Rom.  ix.  27  and  xi.  5,  6,  Paul  says:  "  Esaias  also 
crieth  concerning  Israel,  Though  tlie  number  of  the 
children  of  Israel  be  as  the  sand  of  the  sea,  a  remnant 
shall  be  saved."  "Even  so  then  at  this  present 
time  also  there  is  a  remnant  according  to  the  election 
of  grace.  And  if  by  grace,  then  is  it  no  more  of 
works:  otherwise  grace  is  no  more  grace.  But  if  it 
be  of  works,  then  is  it  no  more  grace:  otherwise 
work  is  no  more  work."  The  mass  of  Israel  are  not 
saved.  Who  then  are  saved?  A  remnant.  How 
are  they  saved?  A.ccording  to  the  election  of  grace: 
therefore  not  according  to  an  election  conditioned  by 
the  foreknowledge  of  their  works.  It  would  be  vain 
to  say  that  faith  is  not  a  work.  Good  works  are 
works,  and  they  are  said  to  be  a  foreknown  condition 
of  election.  Nor  will  it  do  to  say  that  these  fore- 
seen good  works  are  not  legal  and  meritorious  but 
evangelical  and  gracious,  for  they  are  denied  to  be 
determined  by  grace  and  consequently  affirmed  to  be 
determined  by  the  will  of  man.  They  are  therefore 
human  works;  and  Paul  sweeps  away  all  works  of 
every  kind  from  the  reason  of  election.  That  reason 
is  grace,  grace  alone,  the  electing  grace  of  God's 
sovereio^n  wilk  Grace  and  works  are  contradictories. 
One  or  the  other  must  originate  election.  We  must 
choose  between  them.  Paul  affirms  grace;  God  for- 
bid that  we  should  affirm  works!  The  impossibility 
of  adjusting  this  powerful  passage  to  the  Arminian 
scheme  is  evinced  in  Dr.  Whedon's  exposition  of  the 
apostle's  dilemma:  "Grace  and  works,  the  apostle 
now  affirms,  are  a  contradiction.  Our  faith  is  as  free 
as  our  works,  and  our  works  as  free  as  our  will,  that 
will    possessing  the  full  power  in  the  given  case  to 

Election  Stated  and  Prozcd.  115 

choose  or  refuse.  If  it  be  of  compensative  works, 
then  it  is  no  more  gratuity  or  grace,  otherwise  work 
or  compensation  is  no  more  compensation  or  work. 
Each  excludes  the  other."  ^ 

The  proof-texts  which  Arniinians  adduce  in  favor 
of  the  doctrine  of  conditional  election,  and  against 
unconditional,  are  of  two  kinds:  direct,  and  indirect. 
The  indirect  are:  first,  those  which  are  cited  in  favor 
of  universal  atonement ;  secondly,  those  which  are 
adduced  in  support  of  the  defectibility  of  the  saints; 
and  thirdly,  those  which  are  alleged  to  assert  the 
possession  and  exercise  of  free  will  by  men  in  regard 
to  salvation. 

The  following  are  the  chief,  if  not  the  only,  direct 
proof-texts  which  claim  particular  examination: 

Rom.  viii.  29,  30:  ''Whom  he  did  foreknow,  he 
also  did  predestinate  to  be  conformed  to  the  image  of 
his  Son,  that  he  might  be  the  first-born  among  many 
brethren.  Moreover  whom  he  did  predestinate, 
them  he  also  called;  and  wdiom  he  called,  them  he 
also  justified:  and  whom  he  justified,  them  he  also 

1  Pet.  i.  2:  "Elect  according  to  the  foreknowledge 
of  God  the  Father,  through  sanctification  of  the 
Spirit,  unto  obedience  and  sprinkling  of  the  blood  of 
Jesus  Christ." 

2  Thess.  ii.  13:  "But  we  are  bound  to  give  thanks 
alway  to  God  for  you,  brethren  beloved  of  the  Lord, 
because  God  hath  from  the  beginning  chosen  you  to 
salvation  through  sanctification  of  the  Spirit  and 
belief  of  the  truth." 

The  argument  from  these  passages  is:    first,   that 

1  Comm.  on  Rom. 

ii6     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

foreknowledge,  that  is,  prescience,  is  represented  as, 
in  the  order  of  thought,  preceding  predestination  or 
election  :  election  is  according  to  foreknowledge ; 
secondly,  that  election  is  said  to  be  conditioned  upon 
faith,  holy  obedience  and  perseverance  in  the  same. 

Let  us  in  the  first  place  hear  what  lexicographers, 
and  commentators  who  are  not  Calvinistic,  have  to 
say  upon  these  texts.  The  words,  in  the  passages 
from  Romans  and  First  Peter,  which  are  of  critical 
importance,  are  "did  foreknow" — ^rpof^vw,  and  "fore- 
knowledge"— -poyvuaiv,  botli  from  the  same  root. 

Schleusner  says:  "(4)  ut  simplex  yivuaKu,  amo 
aliquem,  alicui  bene  volo.  Rom.  viii.  29,  ov;- Trpoiyvu 
quos  Dens  ab  ?eterno  amavit,  sen,  ad  quos  pertinent 
benigna  ilia  voluntas  divina  (TrpoOeci-)  cui  homines 
adductionem  ad  religionem  et  felicitatem  christianam 
debent."  He  censures  Koppius  for  a  different  in- 
terpretation, and  supports  his  own  by  a  reference  to 
divers  passages  of  Scripture,  emphasizing  that  in  the 
same  epistle,  where  Paul  says,  God  hath  not  cast 
away  his  people  whom  he  foreknew — Trpoiyvu,  and 
where  the  word  cannot  be  taken  in  the  sense  of 
pimple  prescience. 

In  regard  to  the  noun  he  says:  "(2)  per  metony- 
miam  causae  pro  effectu:  consiliitm^  dccretumy  In 
this  sense  he  says  that  the  word  7rpd/vwa^-  is  twice 
used  in  the  New  Testament:  Acts,  ii.  23  and  i  Pet., 
i.  2.  In  the  latter  passage  "according  to  the  fore- 
knowledge of  God  the  Father"  means  according  to 
the  most  wise  and  benignant  counsel  (consilio)  of 
God  wdiereby  they  were  made  Christians  (Christianis 

Cremer  makes   the  terms  "foreknow"  and  "fore- 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  117 

knowledge"   equivalent  to  God's   self-determination 
to  unite^'himself  in   fellowship  with  human  beings. 
This  self-determination  corresponds  with  election,  the 
difference,  however,  obtaining  between  them  that  the 
self-determination  which  is  abstracted  from  particular 
objects  is  expressed  in  election  which  designates  those 
objects.     He  says:   '^^To  foreknow'   therefore  corre- 
sponds with   'to  elect   before    the  foundation  of  the 
world,'  which  in  Eph.  i.  4,  precedes  'to  predestinate,' 
just  like  'foreknew'   in  Rom.  viii.  29.      ^Foreknowl- 
edge,' however,  essentially  includes  a  self-determma- 
tio^^i  \o  this  fellowship  on  God's  part  (Rom.  viii.  29, 
'with  whom  God  had  before  entered  into  fellowship'); 
whereas  '  election  '  merely  expresses  a  determination 
directed  to  the  objects  of  the  fellowship;  cf.  i  Pet.^  1. 
2:   'elect  according  to  the  foreknowledge  of  God.'  " 
Cremer's  view  is  peculiar,  but  it  rejects  the  interpre- 
tation which  makes  foreknowledge  in  these  passages 
equivalent  to  mere  pre-cognition. 

Upon  I  Pet.  i.  2,  he  remarks:  '"Elect  according 
to  the  foreknowledge  of  God'  denotes  the  foreor- 
dained fellowship  between  God  and  the  objects  of  his 
saving  counsels;  God's  self-determination  to  enter 
into  the  fellowship  with  the  objects  of  his^  sovereign 
counsels,  preceding  the  realization  thereof." 

In  this  very  chapter  in  i  Peter  the  word  has  the 
force  of  fore-ordination,  verse  20:  "Who  [Christ] 
verilv  was  foreordained— :^/^of}^'^><^/'^^^'^-  before  the  foun- 
dation of  the  world;"  upon  which  Glassius  in  his 
PhilologicF-  SacrcE  sa)-s:  "hoc  est,  aeterno  Dei  decreto 
ordinatus  in  victimam  pro  peccatis  hominum  offer- 

I  will  refrain  from  citing  the  opinions  of  commen- 

ii8     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

tators  in  regard  to  Rom.  viii.  29,  for  the  reason  that 
both  Calvinists  and  Arniinians  differ  amonq^  them- 
selves  as  to  the  precise  meaning  of  the  foreknowledge 
mentioned  in  that  verse  and  its  connection  with  the 
predestination  of  which  the  apostle  there  speaks. 
The  views  of  some,  who  are  not  professed  Calvinists, 
upon  I  Pet.  i.  2  wull  be  furnished. 

Dr.  Fronmiiller,  the  expositor  of  the  Epistles  of 
Peter  in  lyange's  commentary  thus  interprets  the 
verse:  "'According  to  the  foreknowledge  of  God' 
should  be  connected  with  'elect':  it  denotes  not 
mere  prescience  and  pre- cognition,  the  object  of 
which  is  indeed  not  mentioned,  but  both  real  dis- 
tinction and  fore-decreeing."  Dr.  Mombert,  the 
translator,  adds  this  from  Grotius:  "Foreknowledge 
here  does  not  signify  prescience  but  antecedent 
decree  {anteccdens  decreticm),  as  in  Acts  ii.  23;  the 
same  sense  as  in  Eph.  i.  4." 

Dr.  Huther,  the  continuator  of  Meyer's  commen- 
taries, remarks  upon  this  verse:  ^^TrpdyvcdGir  is  trans- 
lated generally  by  the  commentators  as:  predesti- 
nation." [He  refers  in  a  note  to  Lyranus:  proedes- 
tinatio;  Erasmus:  prsefinitio;  Gerhard:  irpdOeGt-  juxta 
quam  facta  est  electio;  De  Wette:  /?ovA^  ant  Tvpncopio/jo^,'^ 
"This  is  no  doubt  inexact,  still  it  must  be  observed 
that  in  the  N.  T.  Tf^joyvuci^  stands  always  in  such  a 
connection  as  to  show  that  it  expresses  an  idea  akin 
to  that  of  predestination,  but  without  the  idea  of 
knowino-  or  of  takino"  coonizance  beino^  lost.  It  is 
the  perceiving  of  God  by  means  of  which  the  object  is 
determined,  as  that  wdiicli  he  perceives  it  to  be.  Cf. 
]\Ieyer  on  Rom.  viii.  29:  'It  is  God's  being  aware  in 
his  plan,  in  virtue  of  which,  before  the  subjects  are 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  119 

destined  by  him  to  salvation,  he  knows  who  are  to  be 
so  destined  by  him.'  It  is  incorrect,  therefore,  to 
understand  the  word  as  denoting  simply  foreknowl- 
edge. [In  a  note  he  says:  "The  word  has  not  this 
sitrnification  in  the  New  Testament."]  This  leads 
to  a  Pelagianizing  interpretation,  and  is  met  by 
Angustin's  phrase:  eligendos  facit  Dens,  non  in- 

Rosenmiiller  upon  the  text  says:  "-p(5>vwcT^c,  decre- 
tuni,  consilium,  ut  Actor,  ii.  23.  Ad  christianam  igitur 
religionem  perductos  esse  ait,  ex  decreto  et  consilio 
Dei  Patris."  He  refers  to  Carpzov  as  taking  the 
word  to  be  equivalent  to  Trpo^£<T^- 

Olshausen's  opinion  can  be  clearly  collected  from 
what  he  says  upon  Rom.  viii.  29:  "Here,  however, 
there  seems  to  be  no  difference  between  rrpoey-vot  and 
7rpo6(H<Te,  wdiile,  too,  in  Acts,  ii.  23;  i  Pet.  i.  2;  Rom. 
xi.  2,   irpoyvuai-  is  uscd  directly  for  the  divine  will." 

These  authorities  are  not  referred  to  as  decisive,  but 
for  the  purpose  of  showing  that  the  proofs  of  an  elec- 
tion conditioned  upon  foreknowledge,  which  are  de- 
rived from  Rom.  viii.  29  and  i  Pet.  i.  2,  are  entirely 
too  doubtful  to  oppose  to  the  mass  of  direct  scriptural 
testimony  which  has  been  adduced  in  favor  of  uncon- 
ditional election. 

But  the  appeal  to  authorities  aside,  it  is  perfectly 
evident  from  the  very  structure  of  these  texts  that 
election  is  not  conditioned  upon  the  divine  fore- 
knowledge of  faith,  holy  obedience  and  perseverance 
in  the  same.  In  Rom.  viii.  29,  those  who  are  fore- 
known are  distinctly  represented  as  predestined  to  he 
conformed  to  Christ  The  predestinating  decree  ef- 
fects that  conformity;  consequently  it  cannot  be  con- 

I20     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisin. 

ditioned  upon  the  conformity  as  foreknown.  Further, 
it  is  explicitly  said  that  it  is  God  who,  in  accordance 
with  his  predestinating  purpose,  calls,  who  justifies, 
who  glorifies.  Does  the  sinner  call,  justify  and  glorify 
himself?  Are  not  these  divine  acts?  Is  it  not  God 
who  in  executing  his  eternal  purpose  thus  saves  the 

In  I  Pet.  i.  2,  the  persons  addressed  are  expressly 
said  to  be  elect  accordino:  to  the  foreknowledo-e  of 
God  the  Father  nnto  obedience  and  sprinkling  of  the 
blood  of  Jesus  Christ.  All  holy  obedience,  involving 
faith  and  the  conscious  reception  of  the  benefits  which 
flow  from  the  application  of  Jesus'  blood,  is  ascribed 
to  God's  electing  purpose  as  its  proximate  end.  It  is 
that  nnto  which  the  persons  designated  are  elected. 
Nor  will  it  answer  to  say  that  election  is  declared  to 
be  throngh  sanctification  of  the  Spirit.  Will  it  be 
contended  that  the  sinner  sanctifies  himself  in  order 
to  obedience  and  sprinkling  of  the  blood  of  Christ? 
That  would  be  to  assert  that  he  sanctified  himself  in 
order  to  his  sanctification.  And  if  it  be  still  replied 
that  he  must  believe  in  order  to  receive  the  sanctifi- 
cation of  the  Spirit,  it  is  rejoined  that,  in  the  first 
place,  it  is  the  sanctifying  office  of  the  Spirit  to  give 
faith  as  Arminians  concede;  and,  in  the  second  place, 
faith  is  included  in  the  obedience  unto  which  the 
persons  addressed  are  said  to  be  elect  and  whic  :  tlie 
sanctifying  power  of  the  Spirit  produces.  Otherwise 
the  statement  would  be:  they  believe  in  order  to  be 
sanctified  in  order  to  believe.  No  just  criticism  can 
extract  that  meaning  from  the  inspired  words  of  the 

On  the  passage  in  Peter,  Richard  Watson  makes  this 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  I2i 

extraordinary  comment :  ^  "  Here  obedience  is  not  the 
end  of  election,  bnt  of  the  sanctification  of  the  Spirit; 
and  both  are  joined  with  'the  sprinkling  of  the  blood 
of  Jesus'  (which,  in  all  cases,  is  apprehended  by 
faith,)  as  the  media  through  which  our  election  is 
effected — 'elect  through  sanctification  of  the  spirit,' 
&c.  These  cannot,  therefore,  be  the  ends  of  our  per- 
sonal election  ;  for  if  we  are  elected  '  through  '  that 
sanctification  of  the  Spirit  which  produces  obedience, 
we  are  not  elected,  being  unsanctified  and  disobedi- 
ent, in  order  to  be  sanctified  by  the  Spirit  that  we 
may  obey  :  it  is  the  work  of  the  Spirit  which  produces 
obedient  faith,  and  through  both  we  are  'elected' 
into  the  Church  of  God."  First,  this  is,  in  one  re- 
spect, as  good  Calvinism  as  could  be  desired.  He 
admits  that  it  is  the  Spirit  who  produces  faith  and 
obedience.  This  is  an  admission  of  efficacious  grace. 
For  if  it  be  the  Spirit  ^\\o  produces  obedient  faith,  it 
certainly  is  not  the  determining  will  of  the  sinner 
w'hich  produces  it.  The  sinner  believes,  but  the 
grace  of  the  Spirit  originates  his  faith.  But  as  the 
Spirit  is  God,  and  whatever  God  does  in  time  he  eter- 
nally purposed  to  do,  his  production  of  faith  in  the 
sinner  was  eternally  purposed  ;  or  what  is  the  same 
thing  the  sinner  was  eternally  elected  to  believe. 
Secondly,  Watson  argues  that  since  one  is  elected 
through  sanctification  of  the  Spirit  involving  faith 
and  obedience,  faith  and  obedience  are  means  and  not 
ends  of  election.  Exactly  so;  except  that  sanctifica- 
tion, involving  faith  and  obedience,  is  not  the  means 
through  which  election  exists,  but  through  which  it 
operates.     The  Calvinist  does  not  make  sanctification 

^Theo.  Inst.,  Vol.  ii.,  p.  348,  New  York,  1S40. 

122     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 


producing  faith  and  obedience  an  end  of  election. 
The  end  is  proximately  the  final  salvation  of  the  sin- 
ner, and  ultimately  the  glory  of  God's  grace.  Sanc- 
tification  is  the  elected  means  to  that  end.  He  misses 
the  mark,  therefore,  when  he  makes  Calvinism  regard 
obedience  as  the  end  of  election  ;  but  his  lano-uao-e 
otherwise  is  perfectly  Calvinistic,  for  it  asserts  that 
the  means  through  which  election  takes  effect  are  pro- 
duced in  the  sinner  by  the  grace  of  -the  Spirit,  and  of 
course  were  eternally  ordained. 

Whatever  then  be  the  nature  of  the  foreknowledge 
mentioned  in  these  texts,  it  cannot  be  that  of  faith 
and  holiness  as  conditions  of  election.  That,  at  least, 
is  clear. 

2  Thess.  ii.  13,  is  adduced  to  prove  that  election  is 
conditioned  upon  faith  and  holy  obedience.  In  re- 
gard to  this  it  may  be  urged  :  first,  this  passage  puts 
"sanctification"  before  "belief  of  the  truth."  The 
words  sanctification  of  the  Spirit  are  often  used  to 
signify  the  wdiole  agency  of  the  Spirit  in  producing 
experimental  religion,  beginning  in  regeneration,  in- 
cluding the  operation  of  faith,  penitence  and  the  dis- 
position to  bring  forth  good  works,  and  ending  in 
glorification.  If  the  Spirit  exerts  this  renewing  and 
saving  influence  upon  the  sinner,  it  is  in  consequence 
of  God's  eternal  purpose  that  he  should.  Whatever 
God  does  in  time  he  eternally  purposed  to  do,  and,  as 
the  Spirit  is  God,  whatever  the  Spirit  does  in  time 
was  eternally  purposed.  The  supernatural  operation 
of  the  Holy  Spirit  and  the  faith  engendered  by  it  con- 
stitute, according  to  the  statement  of  Paul  in  this  pas- 
sage, the  ordained  means  through  which  the  electing 
purpose    of  God    effects  the  salvation  of  the  sinner. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  123 

If,  as  is  most  probable,  the  salvation  to  which  the 
apostle  in  this  text  says  God  chooses  is  final  felicity  and 
glory,  that  end  is  not  appointed  without  the  appoint- 
ment also  of  the  means  to  its  attainment ;  and  those 
means  are  chiefly  the  operations  of  the  Spirit,  renew- 
ing and  sanctifying  the  sinner.  To  say  that  the  sin- 
ner is  himself  the  originator  of  his  spiritual  life  and 
its  functions,  and  that  he  by  his  repentance  and  faith 
conditions  the  work  of  the  Spirit  in  his  soul,  is  to  take 
a  position  which  is  both  unscriptural  and  irrational. 

What  does  the  Arminian  gain  by  insisting  on  the 
words,  "///;w/^/^sanctification  of  the  Spirit  and  belief 
of  the  truth  ?"  If  he  mean  that  the  material  cause  of 
election  is  here  asserted,  he  holds  that  sanctification 
and  faith  are  the  cause  on  account  of  which,  on  the 
o-round  of  which,  God  elects  to  salvation.  But  he  re- 
fuses  formally  to  take  that  view.  If  he  mean  that 
sanctification  and  faith  are  the  instrumental  cause  of 
election,  he  contradicts  the  decisive  testimony  of 
Scripture  that  they  are  not  the  instrumental  cause  but 
the  effects  of  election.  If  he  mean  that  sanctification 
and  faith  are  the  instrumental  cause  of  salvation,  he 
affirms  exactly  what  the  Calvinist  maintains. 

Here,  however,  there  is  need  of  an  important  dis- 
tinction— between  the  condition  of  election,  and  the 
conditions  of  salvation.  Neither  the  work  of  Christ 
nor  the  work  of  the  Spirit  is  in  ajiy  sense  a  cause  of 
election,  while  they  are  in  important  senses  causes  of] 
salvation.  Christ  was  not  the  efficient  or  meritorious 
or  instrumental  cause  of  election.  He  was  not  the 
foundation  of  ^\^^\\.o\\— fund  anient  uni  electionis ;  but 
he  is  the  foundation  of  redemption-^Y/^^/^7;;/^/////w 
redemptionis.     He  purchased  redemption  by  his  com- 

124     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisut. 

plete  obedience  to  the  precept  and  the  penalty  of  the 
divine  law,  by  which  he  satisfied  justice  and  brought 
in  everlasting  righteousness;  and  by  his  priestly  in- 
tercession he  acquires  the  saving  grace  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  which  as  a  king  he  imparts.  His  work  was 
thus  an  instrumental  and  meritorious  cause  of  re- 
demption. Nevertheless  he  was  elected  to  the  dis- 
charge of  this  momentous  work  by  the  sovereign  will 
of  the  Father.  So,  neither  was  the  work  of  the 
blessed  Spirit  a  cause  of  election,  either  efficient  or 
instrumental.  In  effecting  the  renewal  and  sancti- 
fication  of  the  sinner  he  is  the  proximate  efficient 
cause  by  which  the  electing  purpose — the  will  of  God 
by  which  the  elect  are  sanctified — is  executed,  and 
in  performing  this  office  his  grace  is  a  divinely  ap- 
pointed instrumental  cause  of  salvation.  The  differ- 
ence between  the  cause  of  election  and  the  cause  of 
salvation  is  thus  made  apparent. 

The  graces  and  duties  of  the  renewed  soul  are  in 
no  sense  efficient  or  meritorious  causes.  In  what 
sense  they  are  instrumental  causes,  it  is  important  to 
determine.  Faith  in  Christ  as  a  justif\-ing  Saviour 
is  the  instrumental  cause  of  union  \vitli  him.  That 
is,  it  is  a  condition  without  which  actual,  in  contra- 
distinction to  federal,  union  with  him  would  not  take 
place.  In  this  sense,  faith  is  the  sole  condition  of 
salvation.  It  alone  consciously  unites  the  sinner  to 
Christ,  and  Christ  is  salvation.  But  in  regard  to 
final  salvation — heavenly  felicity  and  glory — all  the 
graces  of  the  Spirit  and  all  the  works  of  the  Christian 
man  are  instrumental  causes  or  conditions  without 
which  that  consummate  end  would  not,  by  the  adult, 
be  reached. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  125 

Now  the  point  of  this  exposition  of  the  means  of 
salvation  is  the  a  fortiori  argnnient  necessarily  dednci- 
ble  from  it,  that  if  neither  the  work  of  Christ  nor  the 
work  of  the  Holy  Spirit  is  an  instrnmental  canse  or 
condition  of  election,  much  less  can  the  faith  and 
holy  obedience  of  the  sinner  be  such  a  cause  or  condi- 
tion. The  conditions  of  salvation  are  indispensable^ 
but  they  are  in  no  sense  conditions  of  election. 

Secondly,  the  judgment  of  impartia*l  commentators 
is  opposed  to  the  Arminian  interpretation  of  this 
verse.  Auberlen  and  Riggenbach,  in  Lange's  series, 
say:  ''The  iv,  etc.  cannot  belong  to  u/^aTo,  since  the 
objective  purpose  of  free  grace  is  not  conditioned  by 
the  subjective  process  in  us."  Ellicott  observes:  "The 
preposition  kv  may  be  instrumental  (Chrysostom,  Liine- 
man,  al.)  but  is  perhaps  more  naturally  taken  in  its 
usual  sense  as  denoting  the  spiritual  state  /;z  which  the 
tOxiro  t\7  ou>7T]piav  was  realized."  Webster  and  Wilkin- 
son remark:  " £1^  a}',  following  e/ A.  indicates  that  their 
present  state,  character  and  qualification  for  future 
blessedness,  are  the  effect  of  God's  choice,  involved 
in  it,  as  part  of  his  original  purpose  of  grace  toward 
them.  So  in  i  Pet.  i.  i,  2.  Even  Rosenmiiller  says 
in  regard  to  the  originating  cause  of  belief  of  the 
truth:  "Deus  ad  salutem  vos  perduxit  dum  emendavit 
vos  per  doctrinam  Christi  perfectiorem,  et  effecit  ut 
fideni  haberetis  religioni." 

Having  considered  the  direct  scriptural  proofs 
adduced  in  support  of  the  doctrine  of  conditional 
election,  I  might  pass  on  to  the  examination  of  the 
indirect  and  inferential  evidence  furnished  by  the 
Arminian  positions  in  regard  to  the  universality  of 
the  atonement,  the  defectibility  of  the  saints,  and  the 

126     Calviiiisni  and  Evaii'^elical  Arrninianism. 

free-will  of  man  in  the  spiritual  sphere.  But  for 
several  reasons  I  propose  not  to  launch  upon  that 
wide  sea.  In  the  first  place,  the  indirect  proofs  of 
unconditional  election,  which  may  be  drawn  from 
related  doctrines  of  the  Calvinistic  system,  it  is  not 
my  intention  to  present,  and  this  justifies  the  ex- 
clusion of  similar  proofs  on  the  Arminian  side.  In 
the  second  place,  anything  like  an  adequate  consid- 
eration of  that  class  of  proofs  would  swell  this  dis- 
cussion bevond  the  limits  which  it  is  desio;ned  to 
bear.  In  the  third  place,  the  topics  coming  within 
the  scope  of  that  kind  of  proof  have  been  for  cen- 
turies handled  in  systems  of  theology  and  contro- 
versial treatises,  and  their  treatment  here  would  be, 
in  great  measure,  but  a  re-statement  of  familiar 
arguments.  They  are  not  peculiar  to  the  Evangeli- 
cal Arminian  theology,  the  prominent  features  of 
which,  as  a  modification  of  the  Remonstrant,  it  is  the 
chief  purpose  of  this  disquisition  to  examine. 

The  elements  into  which  the  doctrine  of  election 
may  be  analyzed  having  been  established  by  a  direct 
appeal  to  God's  Word,  the  way  is  clear  to  gather  them 
lip  into  a  comprehensive  and  definitive  statement  : 

Election  is  God's  eternal  purpose  or  decree, — incited 
by  his  mere  mercy  towards  man  considered  as  fallen 
by  his  own  fault  into  sin  and  misery,  grounded  alone 
in  the  sovereign  pleasure  of  his  own  will,  uncondi- 
tioned by  any  qualities,  dispositions  or  acts  of  the 
creature,  and  involving  a  peculiar  love  of  complacency 
towards  its  objects, — to  bring  certain  individual  men 
to  everlasting  salvation  and  all  the  means  necessary 
thereto,  in  order  to  the  glory  of  his  grace. 

I  will  conclude  this   part  of  the  discussion   by  sum- 

Election  Stated  and  Proved,  127 

niing  lip  the  arguments  opposed  to  the  Armiiiian 
doctrine,  particularly  emphasizing  tliose  relating  to 
the  conditional  nature  of  election,  as  the  chief  point 
at  issue  between  the  parties  to  the  controversy. 

1.  It  is  unscriptural  in  that  it  fails  to  make  God  the 
sole  author  of  election.  For  while  it  represents  God 
as  providing  the  means  by  which  the  sinner  may  be 
saved,  it  makes  the  sinner  by  his  free  will  determine 
himself  to  the  saving  use  of  those  means.  It  is,  there- 
fore, really  the  sinner  who  elects  God,  and  not  God 
who  elects  the  sinner.  His  election  of  God  as  a  Sa- 
viour conditions  God's  election  of  him  as  saved. 

2.  It  professes  to  teach  the  election  of  individuals  to 
salvation,  but  in  reality  denies  it.  For  it  affirms  the 
election  only  of  a  condition  upon  which  individuals 
may  be  saved,  if  they  will  to  comply  with  it.  That 
condition  is  faith  in  Christ  and  perseverance  in  holi- 
ness to  the  end.  But  individuals  are  not  elected  to 
employ  this  condition  :  they  may  or  may  not  employ 
it.  To  say  that  if  they  do  tliey  are  elected  to  salva- 
tion, is  to  affirm  a  hypothethical  and  contingent  elec- 
tion, which  is  no  election  at  all.  It  is  a  contradiction 
in  terms. 

3.  It  is  incorrect  and  inconsistent  with  itself  in 
teaching  that  election  is  in  time. 

(i.)  The  Scriptures  positively  teach  that  election 
is  from  eternit}'. 

(2.)  Election  in  time  could  only  be  the  temporal 
execution  of  an  eternal  purpose.  A  so-called  actual 
election  must  correspond  with  that  purpose  and  ex- 
press it. 

(3.)  God's  purpose  and  his  prescience  are  unwar- 
rantably confounded.     God's  purpose  is  held   to  be 

128     Calvinism  and  Evano-clical  Arniinianisni. 

merely  his  prescience  of  an  actual  election  to  be 
executed  in  time,  as  conditioned  upon  his  prescience 
of  man's  complying  with  the  terms  of  salvation. 
But  purpose  involves  will;  prescience  does  not.  To 
identify  them  is  to  pervert  the  accepted  meaning  of 
the  terms.  This  is  the  more  remarkable,  because  the 
Arminian  contends  that  foreknowledge  exerts  no 
causal  influence  upon  events. 

(4.)  God's  actual  election  in  time  as  the  only 
election  expressing  his  will  is  postponed  nntil  the 
sinner  perseveres  in  holiness  to  the  end  of  life.  But 
it  is  contrary  alike  to  Scripture  and  to  reason  to 
maintain  that  God  waits  upon  the  acts  of  men  in 
order  to  decide  upon  his  own  acts.  Whatever  he  does 
in  time,  he  must  have  eternally  willed  to  do.  Either 
then  God  eternally  willed  to  elect  individuals,  or  no 
election  is  possible.  To  this  the  Arminian  cannot 
answer,  that  God  did  eternally  will  an  actual  election 
conditioned  upon  his  foresight  of  the  sinner's  perse- 
verance in  holiness  to  the  end;  for  in  doing  so,  he 
would  deny  his  position  that  an  eternal  purpose  of 
election  was  nothing  more  than  prescience,  not  in- 
volvino;  will. 

(5.)  The  doctrine  is  inconsistent  with  itself  It 
affirms  election  to  be  in  time.  But  it  also  virtually 
affirms  that  it  cannot  be  in  time.  For  it  teaches  that 
men  ;ire  only  actually  elected  when  they  have  perse- 
vered in  holiness  to  the  end  of  life.  It  is  then,  only 
when  time  has  ceased  that  election  takes  effect.  It  is 
therefore  affirmed  that  election  is  in  time  and  is  not 
in  time  ! 

(6.)  The  objects  of  this  election  are  dead  men.  It 
terminates  upon  men  only  when  the  contingencies  of 


Election  Stated  and  Proved.  129 

life  are  passed.      But  the  Bible  calls  some  living  men 
elect,  and  Arminians  concede  the  fact. 

(7.)  The  affirmation  that  election  is  in  time  is 
equivalent  to  the  affirmation  that  in  time  the  destiny 
of  the  elected  person  is  fixed  for  eternity.  Otherwise 
his  election  means  nothing.  But  it  is  also  affirmed 
that  his  election  is  conditioned  upon  his  perseverance 
in  holy  obedience  to  the  end  of  time  with  him.  Con- 
sequently, his  destiny  cannot  he  fixed  in  time.  The 
destiny  of  the  elect  is  fixed  in  time:  it  is  not  fixed  in 

4.  It  is  out  of  accord  with  Scripture  in  regard  to 
the  ultimate  end  of  election.  It  admits  that  the 
proximate  end  is  salvation;  but  it  is  logically  bound 
to  deny  that  the  ultimate  end  is  solely  the  praise  of 
God's  grace.  For,  the  praise  is  due  to  grace  for  the 
provision  of  the  means  of  salvation,  and  it  is  due  to 
the  elect  themselves  for  the  free  determination  of  their 
own  walls  to  employ  those  means.  God  does  not  de- 
termine the  sinner  to  use  the  means ;  the  sinner 
determines  himself  He  may  be  grateful  for  the  pro- 
vision of  the  means,  but  gratitude  for  electing  grace 
would  have  no  ground.  His  faith,  good  works  and 
perseverance  bring  him  to  heaven,  but  they  are  not 
grounded  in  or  due  to  election:  it  is  conditioned  upon 
them.  He  could  not  sincerely  praise  the  grace  of 
God  for  bringing  him  to  heaven:  he  could  only  praise 
it  for  afifording  him  the  means  of  getting  there. 

5.  It  denies  the  electing  and  saving  love  of  God, 
which  the  scriptures  abundantly  assert. 

(i.)  It  confounds  the  love  of  benevolence  and  the 
love  of  complacency. 

(2.)    It  fails  to  distinguish   between  the  mercy  of 

130    Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

God  towards  a  fallen  race  considered  as  out  of  Christ 
and  the  peculiar,  intense  and  inalienable  love  of  God 
towards  those  whom  he  regards  as  in  Christ. 

(3.)  It  makes  goats  the  objects  of  the  same  love 
with  the  sheep  given  by  the  Father  to  the  Son  to  be 
by  his  death  redeemed  and  saved. 

(4.)  It  makes  the  love  of  God  secure  the  salvation 
of  none  of  his  children.  It  only  secures  for  them  a 
possible  and  contingent  salvation.  It  is  therefore 
less  than  the  love  of  earthly  parents  to  their  children, 
for  they  would  save  their  children  if  they  could.  To 
say  that  God  cannot  save  all  his  children  would  be 
heresy  deepening  into  blasphemy. 

(5.)  It  makes  the  love  of  God  for  his  people 
changeable.  For  he  cannot  cherish  the  same  love 
for  them  when  they  cease  to  be  his  people  by  falling 
away  from  him. 

(6.)  It  contradicts  the  assertions  of  God^s  Word — 
that  his  faithful  love  to  his  Son  will  lead  him  never 
to  suffer  any  to  perish  who  are  bound  up  in  the  same 
covenant  with  that  Son,  even  when  they  forsake  his 
ways  and  break  his  statutes,  that  nothing  shall  separ- 
ate them  from  his  love,  that  he  will  never  leave  them 
nor  forsake  them,  that,  though  a  mother  may  forget 
her  sucking  child,  he  will  never  forget  them,  but  save 
them  with  everlasting  mercies. 

6.  It  makes  election  superfluous  and  useless.  For 
it  denies  that  election  is  in  order  to  faith  and  holiness 
and  aflfirms  that  it  is  conditioned  upon  perseverance  in 
them  to  the  end — that  is,  the  end  of  life  and  the  at- 
tainment of  heaven.  It  follows  necessarily  that 
when  the  sinner  is  foreknov/n  to  get  to  heaven  he  is 
elected  to  get  there.     Where  is  the  use  of  such  elec- 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  131 

tioii  ?  One  is  obliged  to  apply  to  it  Occaiirs  razor — 
the  law  of  parsimony,  that  causes  are  not  needlessly 
to  be  multiplied  for  a  given  effect.  If,  tlirough  the 
assistance  of  grace  and  the  free  determinations  of  his 
own  will,  a  man  has  persevered  in  holy  obedience  to 
the  end  and  has  attained  to  heavenly  happiness,  why 
should  a  cause  be  invoked  to  ensure  the  result  which 
without  it  has  been  secured?  It  is  inconceivable 
that  God  would  elect  men  to  be  saved  in  consequence 
of  his  foreknowing  that  they  are  saved  ;  or  that  he 
would  have  elected  to  save  men  who,  he  foreknew, 
would  by  the  assistance  of  grace  save  themselves. 
God  does  nothing  in  vain  ;  but  this  doctrine  represents 
him  as  doing  a  vain  thing. 

7.  It  misrepresents  the  elements  of  the  plan  of 

(i.)  It  confounds  the  fruits  of  grace  with  the 
means  of  grace.  Faith,  good  works,  and  persever- 
ance in  the  same,  are  fruits  of  grace — its  products, 
not  its  means  or  conditions.  The  means  of  grace  are 
the  Word,  the  Sacraments,  and  Worship. 

(2.)  It  unwarrantably  limits  salvation  to  heavenly 
felicity,  when  it  treats  of  God's  destination  of  men; 
confounds  glorification — a  part  of  salvation — with 
salvation  as  a  whole.  Regeneration,  justification, 
adoption,  and  sanctification  the  Scriptures  declare  to 
be  as  essential  as  glorification.  Election,  according 
to  Arminianism,  is  to  glorification  ;  according  to 
Scripture,  it  is  to  salvation.  And  yet  it  urges  the 
necessity  of  experiencing  a  present  salvation.  How 
is  this  inconsistency  to  be  explained  upom  Arminian 
principles?  By  distinguishing  between  an  initial  and 
losable  salvation  on  the  one  hand,  and  a  final  salva- 

132     Calvijiism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisin. 

tion  on  the  other.  Hence  some  Arminian  theolo- 
gians maintain  a  two-fold  election :  one,  uncondi- 
tional, to  an  initial  and  contingent  salvation,  another 
to  a  final.     But, 

First,  the  Scriptures  incontestably  represent  salva- 
tion as  a  great,  undivided  whole,  beginning  in  re- 
generation and  justification  and  completed  in  glori- 
fication. It  is  utterly  unscriptural  to  split  it  into  two 
parts,  one  contingent,  the  other  certain;  one  initial, 
the  other  final. 

Secondly,  the  Scriptures  clearly  represent  the 
election  of  individuals  to  salvation  as  one,  undivided 
purpose.  It  is  entirely  unscriptural  to  effect  this 
schism  in  God's  electing  purpose  and  to  make  one 
part  of  it  terminate  on  an  initial  and  amissible  salva- 
tion, and  another  on  a  final  and  certain.  The  choice 
must  be  made  between  two  alternatives:  either  no 
electing  purpose,  or  one  which  is  not  separable  into 
parts  conditioned  by  the  fluctuating  agency  of  man. 

Thirdly,  a  salvation  wdiicli  may  be  lost  is  no  salva- 
tion. There  is  no  foundation  in  Scripture  for  the 
doctrine  of  a  merely  initial  and  uncertain  salvation. 
They  represent  him  who  is  saved  as  eternally  saved. 
There  are  two  great  pillars  on  which  the  certain  sal- 
vation of  the  believer  rests,  pillars  which  cannot  be 
thrown  down  by  sin  or  Satan,  earth  or  hell.-  They 
are  the  unchangeable  purpose  of  God  and  the  indes- 
tructible life  which  the  justified  soul  possesses  in  Christ. 
Whom  God  purposes  to  save,  he  saves  forever ;  who 
live  in  Christ  forever  live.  Otherwise  God  purposes  to 
save  without  saving,  and  justifies  without  justifying. 
According  to  the  view  under  consideration,  a  man 
may  be  elected  to  be  temporarily  saved  who  is  lost  at 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  133 

last — saved  in  time,  but  lost  in  eternity.  And  as  one 
who  is  temporarily  saved  may  backslide  again  and 
again — that  is,  lose  his  faith  entirely — he  may  be 
elected  to  several  temporary  salvations,  and  finally 
perish.  And  further,  since  such  a  man  may  die  in 
faith,  he  must  have  been  elected  to  several  temporary 
salvations  and  an  eternal  salvation  to  boot.  Surely 
it  is  not  God's  election  which  is  meant,  but  his  own. 
There  is  little  wonder  that  Evangelical  Arminian 
divines  differ  among  themselves,  some  referring  elec- 
tion in  part  to  an  initial  salvation,  and  others  confin- 
ing it  to  a  final.  The  real  difficulty  is,  that  both 
parties  to  this  family  feud  reject  God's  election,  which 
like  himself  is  stable,  and  substitute  for  it  man's 
election  of  himself,  which,  like  man,  is  characterized 
by  change. 

(3.)  It  unjustifiably  confounds  eternal  life  with 
heavenly  life.  The  Scriptures  say  that  he  who  hath 
the  Son  hath  eternal  life.  Life,  like  salvation,  is  a 
great  whole,  beginning  in  the  new  birth  and  justifica- 
tion, developed  in  sanctification,  and  consummated  in 
glory.  Election,  according  to  x'irminianism,  is  to  life 
in  heaven  ;  according  to  Scripture,  it  is  to  life  in  Christ. 
To  live  in  Christ  is  to  live  forever.  There  is  a  second 
birth,  but  the  Bible  speaks  nowhere  of  a  third  birth. 
He  who  is  born  again  is  born  once  for  all  into  God's 
family,  a  child  of  the  Father,  a  brother  of  the  Son, 
and  an  heir  of  glory — a  joint-heir  with  Christ,  not  to 
a  contingent  and  perishable  inheritance,  but  to  an  in- 
heritance incorruptible,  undefiled  and  that  fadeth  not 
away,  reserved  in  heaven  for  those  who  are  kept' by 
the  power  of  God ^  through  faitli  unto  salvation. 

(4.)  It  denies,    what  the   Scriptures  unequivocally 

134     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

assert — the  bondage  to  sin  and  Satan  of  the  will  of 
the  unregenerate  sinner.  For,  as  will  hereafter  be 
shown,  it  affirms  the  power  of  the  natural  will,  as 
such,  to  use  imparted  grace  which  is  alleged  to  be 
sufficient  but  not  regenerating. 

(5.)  It  denies  what  the  Scriptures  plainh^  teach — 
the  life-giving  act  of  the  Holy  Spirit  in  regeneration 
as  initiating  the  sinner's  experience  of  salvation.  For 
it  makes  repentance  precede  and  condition  regenera- 
tion, unscripturally  regards  regeneration  as  a  "work," 
in  which  the  sinner  actively  co5perates  with  the  Spirit, 
and  so  is  palpably  and  confessedly  Synergistic.^ 

(6.)  It  makes  assurance  of  salvation  a  solecism.  To 
distinguish  between  the  assurance  of  salvation  and  the 
certification  by  the  witness  of  the  Spirit  of  salvation 
is  vain.  They  mean  the  same  thing.  To  speak  of 
the  certification  of  being  saved  at  present  as  the  same 
with  the  certification  of  being  saved  is,  I  say,  a  sole- 
cism ;  for  it  amounts  only  to  a  certification  of  a  reprieve 
and  furnishes  no  guarantee  against  a  final  doom. 
This  is  not  the  doctrine  of  the  Scriptures.  They 
represent  the  assurance  of  final  salvation  as  attainable. 
"Oh  that  my  words  were  now  written!"  exclaimed 
Job,  the  type  and  exemplar  of  a  suffering  faith,  "oh 
that  they  were  printed  in  a  book!  That  they  were 
graven  with  an  iron  pen  and  lead  in  the  rock  for- 
ever!" The  passionate  fervor  and  profound  solem- 
nity of  the  exordium  redeem  the  "words"  from  every 
rationalistic  interpretation  which  would  disembowel 
them  of  their  grand  redemptive  significance.  What 
are  the  words  so  magnificently  introduced?  "For  I 
know  that  my  Redeemer  liveth,    and  that  he  shall 

'  liaymond,  Syst.    T/ieo!.  vol.  ii.  p.  355. 

Election  Staled  and  Proved.  13.5 

stand  at  the  latter  day  upon  the  earth:    And  though 
after  niv  skin  worms  destroy  this  body,  yet  in  my 
flesh  shall  I  see  God:  whom  I  shall  see  for  myself, 
and  mine  eves  shall  behold,  and  not  another;  thou-h 
mv  reins  be  consumed  within  me."      "He  shall  re- 
deem Israel,"   chanted  the  precentor  of  the  Church 
in    her   songs   of  praise,    "from  all    his  iniquities." 
"Though  I  walk  in  the  midst  of  trouble,  thou  wilt 
revive    me:     thou    shalt    stretch    forth    thine    hand 
against    the  wrath  of   mine    enemies,  and    thy  right 
hand  shall    save    me. -^  The    Lord   will    perfect   that 
which  concerneth  me  :  thy  mercy,  O  Lord,  eudureth 
forever:  forsake  not  the  works  of  thine  own  hands." 
"For  we  know,"  cried  Paul,  the  battle-scarred  vet- 
eran of  the  Cross,  "that  if  our  earthy  house  of  this 
tabernacle    were    dissolved,    we    have    a    building  of 
God,  an  house  not  made  with  hands,  eternal  in  the 
heavens."      "  Wherefore"— what?   let  us  live  as  we 
list,   because   we  are  sure  of  a  home   in  heaven?— 
"wherefore,  we  labor  that  whether  present  or  absent 
we  may  be  accepted  of  him."      "Now,"  argues  the 
same  glorious  apostle,  "is  our  salvation  nearer  than 
when  we  believed.     The  night  is  far  spent,  the  day  is 
at  hand:  let  us  therefore  cast  off  the  works  of  dark- 
ness, and  let  us  put  on   the  armor  of  light."      From 
his  Roman  prison  he  utters  this  language  of  triumph- 
ant   confidence:     "I    am    not    ashamed:    for  I  know 
whom  I  have  believed,  and  am  persuaded  that  he  is 
able  to  keep  that  which   I   have  committed  to  hini 
ao-ainst  that  day"— the  sacred   deposit  of  my  dying 
body,  and   mv  undying  soul  with   its  eternal  weight 
of    interests.      Believers    may    know    their   election: 
"Knowing,  brethren  beloved,  your  election  of  God." 

136     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

And  knowing  their  election,  they  may  know  their 
final  salvation,  for  it  is  that  on  which  their  election 
terminates.  But  the  Arminian  doctrine  teaches  that 
Christ's  sheep  may  know  him,  and  he  may  know 
them  and  call  them  by  name,  and  assure  them  that 
none  shall  pluck  them  out  of  his  hand,  and  yet,  at 
the  last,  he  may  say  to  them,  ''I  never  knew  you;  de- 
part from  me." 

8.  The  last  point  that  will  be  urged  is,  that  it  is 
entirely  unscriptural  in  maintaining  that  election  is 
conditioned  upon  any  qualities,  dispositions  or  acts 
of  man.* 

(i.)  We  have  seen  from  the  numerous  passages 
collected  that  the  Scriptures  expressly  teach  that 
election  is  unto  faith,  good  w^orks  and  perseverance 
in  faith  and  good  works  to  the  end — that  they  are 
the  fruits  of  election.  The  conclusion  is  irresistible, 
that  they  do  not  condition  it.  It  is  true  that  Watson 
says:  "We  have  no  such  doctrine  in  Scripture  as  the 
election  of  individuals  tinto  faith.  "^  It  has  been 
abundantly  shown  by  direct  citations,  that  we  have 
such  a  doctrine  in  Scripture.  The  authorities  are 
opposed,  but  God's  is  the  weightier.  Watson's  mis- 
statement of  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  that  it  makes 
the  obedience  of  faith  an  end  of  election,  and  not 
merelv  a  means  throuoh  which  it  effects  final  salva- 
tion,  has  already  been  corrected;  and  his  failure  to 
use  I  Pet.  i.  2  against  Calvinism — that  is,  against 
itself — has  been  exhibited. 

(2.)  The  Arminian  doctrine  involves  the  capital 
mistake  of  making  the  acts  of  repentance  and  faith 
in  the  natural    sphere  condition  election.      Men   are 

^  Theo.  Inst.,  Vol.  ii.  p.  347,  New  York,  1840. 

Election  Stated  mid  Proved.  137 

said  by  Anninian  writers  to  be  partly  in  a  state  of 
grace  when  they  receive  assisting  and  co-operating, 
or,  as  it  is  otherwise  called,  prevenient  grace,  ante- 
cedently to  regeneration,  and  consequently  to  be  able, 
in  that  state,  to  perform  gracious  acts.^  But,  with- 
out higgling  about  words,  the  real  question  is, 
wdiether  in  that  condition  the  man  is  born  again. 
No,  they  reply;  his  repentance  and  faith  precede  and 
condition  regeneration.  So  say  explicitly  Pope, 
Ralston  and  RaNinond,  and  such  was  the  doctrine  of 
Wesley.  Now,  if  a  man  is  not  born  again  of  the 
Spirit,  he  is  simply  born  after  the  flesh.  Whatever 
gracious  gifts  may  be  supposed  to  be  conferred  upon 
him,  he  is  still  in  the  natural  condition  in  which  he 
was  born  of  his  mother.  He  is  still  in  his  sins.  So 
I  understand  Wesley  to  teach. '^  Before,  then,  he  is 
born'  again  he  repents  and  believes.  It  follows 
necessarily  that  by  faith  he  accepts  salvation  in  his 
natural  condition,  and  since  faith  is  held  to  be  the 
initial  condition  of  election,  his  acts  in  the  natural 
sphere  condition  election.  To  say  that  the  Arminian 
theology  maintains  that  before  a  sinner  is  born  again 
of  the  Holy  Spirit  he  may  do  that  which  renders  it 
proper  for  God  to  elect  him  to  eternal  life  may  seem 
to  some  to  be  a  libel.      Let  us  see. 

"He,"  observes  Mr.  Wesley  in  his  Sermon  on  Sal- 
vation by  Faith,  ''that  is  by  faith  born  of  God  sin- 
neth  not,"  etc.  In  his  second  Sermon  on  Faith, 
from  Heb.  xi.  i,  he  speaks  definitely  upon  the  point: 

^Pope,  Camp.  Chris.  Thcol.,  Vol.  ii.  p.  390. 

''Sermons  on  The  Righteousness  of  Faith  and  The  Way  to  the 

138     CalvinisJii  and  Evangelical  ^bijiiniaiusni. 

"The  faith  of  a  servant  implies  a  di\'ine  evidence  of 
the  invisible  and  eternal  world:  yea,  and  an  evidence 
of  the  spiritnal  world,  so  far  as  it  can  exist  without 
living  experience.  Whoever  has  attained  this,  the 
faith  of  a  servant,  '  feareth  God  and  escheweth  evil; ' 
or,  as  it  is  expressed  by  St.  Peter,  'feareth  God  and 
w^orketh  righteonsness. '  In  consequence  of  which, 
he  is  in  a  degree  (as  the  apostle  observes)  'accepted 
with  him'  .  .  .  Nevertheless  he  should  be  exhorted, 
not  to  stop  there;  not  to  rest  till  he  attains  the 
adoption  of  sons;  till  he  obeys  him  out  of  love, 
which  is  the  privilege  of  all  the  children  of  God. 
Exhort  him  to  press  on  by  all  possible  means,  till  he 
passes  'from  faith  to  faith;'  from  the  faith  of  a  ser- 
vant to  the  faith  of  a  son,  from  the  spirit  of  bondage 
unto  fear  to  the  spirit  of  childlike  love.  He  will 
then  have  *  Christ  revealed  in  his  heart'  enabling 
him  to  testify,  '  The  life  that  I  now  live  in  the  flesh, 
I  live  by  faith  in  the  Son  of  God;  who  loved  me  and 
gave  himself  for  nae:'  the  proper  voice  of  a  child  of 
God.     He  will  then  be  '  born  of  God. ' ' ' 

]\Ir.  Watson  says:  "Justification,  regeneration  and 
adoption  are  not  distinct  and  different  titles,  but 
constitute  one  and  the  same  title,  tlirough  the  gift  of 
God  in  Christ,  to  the  heavenly  inheritance.  They 
are  attained,  too,  by  the  same  faith.  We  are  'justi- 
fied by  faith'  and  we  are  the  'children  of  God  by 
faith  in  Christ  Jesus.'  'But  as  many  as  received 
him,  to  them  gave  he  power  to  become  the  sons  of 
God  (which  appellation  includes  reconciliation  and 
adoption)  even  to  them  that  believe  on  his  name, 
which  were  born  not  of  blood,  nor  of  the  will  of  the 
flesh,  nor  of  the  will  of  man,  but  of  God,'  or  in  other 

Elcciinn  Stated  and  Proved.  139 

words  were  regenerated.'"  "The  regenerate  state  is 
only  entered  npon  at  onr  jnstification.'"  Mr.  Watson 
confonnds  adoption  with  regeneration.  Faith  con- 
ditions adoption  as  it  does  jnstification;  bnt  it  does 
not,  cannot,  is  not  in  Scripture  said  to,  condition 
regeneration.  It  is  out  of  the  question  that  one 
could  condition  his  own  birth.  In  the  passage  in  the 
first  chapter  of  John  the  power  to  become  sons  of 
God  is  t^ovaia  not  (5,'ra«/r;  authority  or  right  to  become 
sons,  which  was  conferred  on  those  who  having  been 
born  of  God  by  the  powerful  operation  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  received  Christ  by  faith.  The  order  is:  first, 
regeneration  ;  secondly,  faith  ;  thirdly,  adoption. 
Regeneration  is  in  order  to  faith,  and  faith  in  order 
to  justification  and  adoption.  To  require  faith  in 
order  to  regeneration  is  to  require  a  living  function 
from  the  dead  in  order  to  life. 

Dr.  Pope  is  very  explicit.  He  says  :  "Repentance 
precedes  the  faith  which  brings  salvation."  '  "  Faith 
as  the  instrument  of  appropriating  salvation  is  a 
divinely-wTOUght  belief  in  the  record  concerning 
Christ  and  trust  in  his  person  as  a  personal  Saviour: 
these  two  being  one.  It  must  be  distinguished,  on  the 
one  hand,  from  the  general  exercise  of  belief  fol- 
lowing evidence  which  is  one  of  the  primary  elements 
of  human  nature,  and  from  the  grace  of  faith  which 
is  one  of  the  fruits  of  the  regenerating  Spirit."' 
Here  the  faith  whicli  appropriates  salvation  and  is  a 
trust  in  Christ  as  a  personal  Saviour  is  distinguished 

"^Theo.  Inst.,  Vol.  ii.  p.  267. 

^Co}Npendiuni  Chris.  Theot.,  Vol.  ii.  p.  3^4- 

^Ibid.,  Vol.  ii.  p.  376. 

140     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arininianism. 

from  faith  as  produced  by  regeneration.  He  says 
further:  ''The  special  grace  of  enlightenment  and 
conversion,  repentance  and  faith,  it  [Arminianism] 
holds  to  be  prevenient  only,  as  resting  short  of  regen- 
eration ;  but  as  flowing  into  the  regenerate  life."  ^ 

Dr.  Ralston  is  equally  explicit.  He  observes  that 
Calvinists  indicate  "the  followino^  order:  i.  Reoen- 
eration.  2.  Faith.  3.  Repentance  [penitence].  4. 
Conversion.  Arminians  think  the  Scriptures  present 
a  different  order  on  this  subject.  They  contend  that 
so  far  from  repentance  and  faith  being  preceded  by 
regeneration  and  flowing  from  it,  they  precede,  and 
are  conditions  of  regeneration."^  The  Calvinistic 
order  should  not  have  contained  conversion  as  a  dis- 
tinct element.  It  is  generically  the  new  birth,  faith, 
and  repentance  in  the  narrow  sense  of  penitence  and 
turning  from  sin  to  God.  The  Arminian  order  is  no 
doubt  accurately  given. 

Dr.  Raymond  is  still  more  explicit.  Speaking  of 
the  sinner  who  "improves  the  common  grace  given  to 
all  mankind,"  he  says  :  "If  he  gives  the  Spirit  free 
course,  his  heart  becomes  so  far  changed  from  its 
natural  love  of  sin  as  to  sorrow  on  account  of  sin,  and 
in  a  degree  to  hate  it ;  he  is  truly  penitent  ;  has  initial 
godly  sorrow  for  sin  ;  his  will  is  emancipated  from  its 
natural  bondage  to  unbelief,  and  is  so  far  invigorated 
bv  divine  o-race  as  to  be  able  to  volitionate  a  deter- 
mined  purpose  of  amendment  and  of  future  obedience; 
nay,  more,  he  actually  does  volitionate  saving  faith. 
But  all  this  is  not  what  theologians  call  regeneration. 
It  is  antecedent  to  regeneration,  and  constitutes  the 
state  of  mind  on  which  regeneration  is  conditioned. 
^Ibid.  vol.  ii.  p.  390.  -Elein.  of  Divin.,  p.  347. 

Election  Staled  and  Proved.  141 

Faith,  tlie  evidence  of  justification,  and  regeneration 
are  contemporaneous,  not  separable  in  consciousness, 
but  in  the  order  of  thought  faith  is  first,  justification 
second,  and  regeneration  third."  ^ 

The  proofs  have  thus  been  furnished  that  the  Ar- 
niinian  theology  involves  the  position  that  men,  in 
the  natural  sphere,  before  they  are  regenerated,  con- 
dition their  election  to  salvation.  For,  as  one  who, 
in  the  first  instance,  believes  in  Christ  may  persevere 
in  believing  to  the  end,  it  is  evident  that  the  condi- 
tioning of  election  may  begin  in  the  natural  sphere 
antecedently  to  the  new  birth. 

(3.)  The  Arminian  doctrine  involves  the  following 
unscriptural  positions  in  regard  to  the  application  of 
redemption:  God's  purpose  was  not  savingly  to  apply 
redemption,  but  to  permit  men  to  avail  themselves  of 
redemption  provided;  the  sinner's  will  and  not  God's 
is  the  determining  factor  in  the  great  concern  of  per- 
sonal salvation;  the  principle  upon  which  salvation  is 
applied  is  not  that  of  grace,  but  of  human  willing; 
man  is,  in  this  respect,  made  sovereign  and  God  de- 
pendent; the  glory  of  salvation,  as  a  ivhole^  is  divided 
between  God  and  man;  and,  finally,  the  logical  result 
must  be  a  semi-Pelagian  subversion  of  the  Gospel 

First,  Arminian  theologians  do  not,  so  far  as  I 
know,  take  the  ground  that  there  was  no  divine  pur- 
pose in  regard  to  the  application  of  redemption.  But 
if  there  was  some  purpose,  it  must  have  been  either 
efficient  or  permissive.  Arminians  deny  that  it  was 
efficient,  that  is,  that  it  was  a  purpose  efficaciously  to 
apply  salvation  to  individuals.  Consequently,  they 
^Syst.  Theo.,  vol.  ii.  pp.  348,  349. 

142     Calvinism  and  Evangelicad  Arininianisin. 

maintain  that  it  was  permissive.  But  if  so,  God  sim- 
ply determined  to  permit  men  to  avail  themselves  of 
the  salvation  which  he  would  graciously  provide; 
which  amounts  to  this:  that  he  determined  to  permit 
men  to  save  themselves  upon  condition  of  their  be- 
lieving; in  Christ  and  persevering  in  faith  and  holiness 
to  the  end. 

Now,  I  admit  with  all  Calvinists  the  existence  of 
some  permissive  decrees,  but  deny  that  this  purpose 
touching  the  application  of  redemption  falls  under 
that  denomination.  The  Arminian  commits  the 
tremendous  blunder  of  treating  the  case  of  Adam  in 
innocence,  and  that  of  the  sinner,  as  one  and  the  same 
in  relation  to  the  divine  decrees  and  to  the  ability  of 
the  moral  agent.  It  is  true  that  God  decreed  to 
permit  x\dam  to  sin,  and  it  is  true  that  Adam  had  the 
power  to  stand  or  to  fall ;  but  it  is  not  true,  either 
that  God  simply  decreed  to  permit  his  sinful  descend- 
ants to  be  saved,  or  that  they  have  the  power  to 
choose  holiness.  Were  the  decree  simply  permissive, 
no  sinner  would  or  could  be  saved.  The  dead  man 
needs  something  more  than  permission  to  live  ;  he 
needs  life. 

The  Sublapsarian  Calvinist — and  he  is  the  typical 
Calvinist — admits  that  the  decree  to  permit  the  fall, 
and  the  foreknowledge  of  the  fall  are  pre-supposed 
by  the  decrees  of  election  and  reprobation.  But  it  is 
altogether  a  different  thing  to  say,  with  the  Arminian, 
that  the  decree  to  permit  men  to  recover  themselves 
from  the  Fall,  and  the  foreknowledge  that  they 
would  recover  themselves  from  it,  conditioned  or  were 
pre-supposed  by  the  decree  to  elect  them  to  be  saved. 
On  the  contrary,    the  Scriptures  teach  that   as  men 

Election  Slated  and  Proved.  143 

cannot  recover  themselves  from  tlie  consequences  of 
the  Fall,  God  of  his  mere  mercy  elected  some  of  the 
guilty  and  helpless  mass  to  be  recovered  and  saved, 
and  in  pursuance  of  that  purpose  imparts  to  its  objects 
the  grace  which  alone  recovers  and  saves  them. 
Otherwise  they  must  all  have  perished  together. 

Secondly,  in  rebuttal  of  this  allegation  Arminian 
theologians  contend  that  their  doctrine  is  that  sinners 
are  saved,  if  saved  at  all,  by  grace.  The  grace  by 
which  it  is  professed  that  men  are  saved  in  the  first 
instance,  that  is,  are  empowered  to  accept  the  offer  of 
salvation,  is,  as  to  the  order  of  time,  called  prevenient 
grace — grace  which  operates  antecedently  to  regen- 
eration, at  least  to  "full  regeneration."  "The mani- 
festation of  divine  influence,"  remarks  Dr.  Pope, 
"which  precedes  the  full  regenerate  life  receives  nc 
special  name  in  scripture ;  but  it  is  so  described  as  to 
warrant  the  designation  usually  given  to  it  of  Pre- 
venient Grace."  ^  As  to  its  nature  and  functions  it 
is  variously  denominated  assisting,  co-operating, 
sufficient,  grace.  It  has  been  already  shown  that, 
notwithstanding  the  communication  of  this  grace, 
the  decision  which  determines  the  question  of  prac- 
tical salvation  is  held  to  be  made  by  the  sinner's  will, 
unconstrained  by  grace  ;  that  this  is  the  view  expressly 
maintained  by  such  writers  as  Raymond,  Whedon 
and  Strong.  But  inasmuch  as  it  may  be  alleged  that 
these  divines  do  not  represent  the  views  of  the  early 
teachers  of  the  Evangelical  Arminian  theology  and 
those  of  the  body  of  Evangelical  Arminians,  I  will 
proceed  to  show  that  these  able  writers  have  grasped 

^Coinp.  Chris.  Theol.,  vol.  ii.  p.  359. 

144     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

the  logic  of  their  system,  and  have  given  expres- 
sion to  its  legitimate  conclnsion. 

It  will  not  do  to  say,  that  becanse  co-operating 
grace  is  given  to  all  men,  those  who  are  saved  do  not 
recover  and  save  themselves,  but  are  recovered  and 
saved  by  grace.  For,  either  this  co-operating  grace 
is  the  controlling  and  determining  element  in  pro- 
ducing recovery  and  salvation,  or  it  is  not.  If  it  be 
the  controlling  and  determining  element,  the  Armin- 
ian  position  is  relinquished  and  the  Calvinistic  con- 
ceded; since,  in  that  case,  men  are  saved  by  an  in- 
vincible influence  operating  in  accordance  with  an 
electinof  decree.  If  this  o^race  be  not  the  controllinof 
and  determining  element,  the  will  of  man  is  that 
element.  And  then  it  follows  that  men  recover  and 
save  themselves  by  the  energy  of  their  own  wills. 
But  that  is  alike  unscriptural,  and  contrary  to  the 
profession  of  Arminians  themselves  that  men  are 
saved  by  grace. 

If  it  be  said,  that,  although  it  be  true  that  the 
final  factor  which  determines  the  question  of  recovery 
and  salvation  is  the  will  of  man,  yet  without  the 
assisting  grace  of  God  it  could  not  determine  the 
question,  and  therefore  men  are  saved  by  grace,  it  is 
answered:  that  upon  this  supposition  it  is  admitted 
that  the  will  of  man  may  decline  the  assistance  of 
grace,  or  may  accept  it — may  co-operate  with  it  or 
may  not.  That  proves  that  the  final  determination 
of  the  case  is  regarded  as  being  in  the  power  of  the 
will,  and  it  comes  to  this,  that  in  the  last  resort  the 
man  saves  himself  It  is  his  will  which  gives  to  the 
assisting  and  co-operating  grace  any  influence  in 
pro  "ucing  recovery  and  salvation. 

Election  Staled  ami  Proved.  145 

If  it  be  said,  that  neither  grace  nor  the  will  of  man  is 
the  controlling-  and  determining  element,  but  they  are 
coordinate  and  coequal  factors,  it  would  follow:  First, 
that  as  from  the  nature  of  the  case  they  are  antago- 
nistic to  each  other,  a  perfect  equipoise  would  result, 
and  no  action  would  be  possible.  Between  grace  and 
the  will  the  man  would  be  like  the  ass  of  Buridan  be- 
tween two  equally  attractive  measures  of  oats.  The 
two  forces  are  antagonistic,  for  grace  tends  to  the  pro- 
duction of  holiness,  and  the  will  of  the  natural  man  to 
the  production  of  sin.  The  consequence  pointed  out 
must  follow.  Secondly,  if  action  could  be  attained,  it 
would  of  necessity  be  equally  shared  by  grace  and  the 
human  will;  and  then  the  man  could  be  said  to  be 
saved  by  neither.  He  could  not  be  saved  by  grace; 
he  could  not  be  saved  by  himself.  Grace  and  the 
human  will,  as  they  would  have  an  equal  share  in  the 
action  which  saves,  would  have  an  equal  share  in 
the  glory  of  salvation.  And  so  the  saved  sinner 
would  sing:  To  God  and  to  myself  be  the  glory  of 
my  salvation!  The  absurdity  of  the  consequence 
refutes  the  supposition. 

If,  further,  it  be  said,  that  the  natural  will  is, 
"without  the  power  to  co-operate  with  the  divine  in- 
fluence, but  the  co-operation  with  grace  is  of  grace,"' 
and  in  this  way  it  becomes  apparent  that  the  sinner  is 
saved  by  grace;  it  is  replied:  First,  in  order  to  co- 
operation the  influences  co-operating  with  each  other 
must  be  distinct,  the  one  from  the  other,  and  this 
would  necessitate  the  view  that  grace  of  one  sort  or 
in  one  aspect  co-operates  with  grace  of  another  sort  or 
in  another  aspect.      But  grace  is  one,  and  to  divide  it 

^Pope,  Comp.  Chris.  TheoL,  vol.  ii.  p.  80. 

146      Calvinisin  and  E-jangclical  Anjiuiia/iisjJi. 

thus  into  two  distinct  parts  or  aspects  is  wholly 
unwarrantable.  The  division  is  an  arbitrary  one 
adopted  to  justify  a  theory.  Secondly,  the  suppo- 
sition represents  grace  inside  of  the  will  co-oper- 
atinof  with  o-race  outside  of  it.  But  if  it  be  admitted 
that  in  the  first  instance  grace  may  be  an  inducement 
to  action  presented  to  the  will,  yet  when  the  will  to 
any  extent  appropriates  the  inducement,  by  that  ap- 
propriation the  inducement  passes  into  the  will  itself 
and  is  assimilated  into  its  spontaneity.  It  ceases  to  be 
external  to  the  will  and  becomes  internal  to  it.  The 
motive  agency  of  grace  then  operates  within  the  will 
itself,  and  co-operation  of  grace  with  grace  would  be 
the  co-operation  of  an  inducement  absorbed  into  the 
will  with  the  s^me  inducement,  considered  as  still  ex- 
traneous to  it  and  unabsorbed.  Thirdly,  grace  co- 
operating with  grace,  were  such  a  combination  of 
influences  possible,  would,  to  use  a  homely  compari- 
son, be  a  team  which  would  surely  be  able  to  draw 
the  will  to  action.  But  no,  the  will  is  the  driver  and 
holds  the  reins  which  control  the  powerful  combina- 
tion. Even  the  co-operation  of  grace  with  grace  can- 
not determine  the  course  of  the  will.  Notwithstand- 
ing their  united  influence,  that  sovereign  faculty  de- 
termines its  own  course.  Fourthly,  it  is  still  the  will 
which  determines  itself  to  the  co-operation,  and  makes 
the  co-operation  decisive.  This  is  really  what  is  in- 
tended. It  is  the  will  which  is  the  determining  factor 
in  the  co-operation,  as  is  apparent  from  the  position 
that  the  will  may  entirely  decline  to  co-operate  with 
grace.  The  conclusion  is  that,  in  the  last  analysis,  it 
is  not  grace  but  the  will  which  is  the  saving  element. 
To  all    this   it   may  be   rejoined,   that   there  is   no 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  i.)/ 

assertion  of  the  anomaly  of  grace  co-operating-  with 
grace,  bnt  only  of  the  fact  that  the  will  is  incited  by 
grace  itself  to  co-operate  with  grace.  The  co-opera- 
tion is  not  of  grace  with  grace,  bnt  of  the  will  with 
grace.  Bnt  this  does  not  relieve  the  difficnlty;  for, 
in  the  first  place,  it  would  be  admitted  that  it  is  the 
natural  will,  as  such,  which  co-operates  with  grace; 
and  as  that  will  is  the  deciding  factor,  it  is  it  which 
determines  the  question  of  salvation;  and  no  evan- 
gelical thinker  could  deliberately  and  professedly 
take  that  ground.  In  the  second  place,  grace  incit- 
ing the  will  to  co-operate  with  grace  would  be  grace 
mediately  through  the  will  co-operating  wnth  grace. 
The  Arminian  must  make  his  election  between  two 
alternatives  both  of  which  are  damaging:  either  that 
the  will,  as  natural,  decides  to  co-operate  with  grace 
and  so  determines  the  question  of  salvation,  which 
involves  heresy;  or  that  grace  co-operates  with  grace, 
which  involves  absurdity. 

If,  finally,  it  be  said,  that  although  the  grace  is 
not  determining,  it  is  sufficient,  grace:  that  is,  suffi- 
cient to  enable  the  sinner's  wnll  to  determine  the 
question  of  his  recoveny  and  salvation;  it  is  answered: 

First,  sufficient  grace  would  necessarily  be  regen- 
erating grace.  For,  grace  which  would  be  sufficient 
to  enable  the  spiritually  dead  sinner — and  Evangeli- 
cal Arminians  acknowledge  him  to  be  by  nature 
spiritually  dead — to  perform  a  function  of  spiritual 
life,  believing  in  Christ,  for  example,  must  be  grace 
which  gives  life.  But  grace  which  gives  life  is  re- 
generating.     Now, 

Secondly,  regenerating  grace  is  necessarily  irresist- 
ible   and    determining    grace.      Regenerating    grace 

148     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Aruiinianisni. 

produces  the  new  birth,  and  no  one  can  resist  his  own 
birth.  "Marvel  not  that  I  said  unto  thee,  Ye  must 
be  born  again."  Regenerating  grace  produces  a  re- 
surrection to  spiritual  life,  and  no  one  can  resist  his 
own  resurrection.  "If  ye  then  be  risen  with  Christ, 
seek  those  things  which  are  above."  Regenerating 
grace  new-creates  the  soul,  and  no  one  can  resist  his 
own  creation.  ' '  For  w^e  are  his  workmanship,,  created 
in  Christ  Jesus  unto  good  works,  which  God  hath  be- 
•fore  ordained  that  we  should  walk  in  them," 

But  Arminians  contend  that  grace  ma}'  be  resisted, 
and  some  Calvinists  go  too  far  in  conceding  the  same, 
•i^'hile  they  hold  that  it  cannot  be  so  resisted  as  to  be 
overcome.  They  prefer,  therefore,  to  use  the  terms 
invincible  or  insnpei^able  grace.  Both  parties  are  mis- 
taken. Regenerating  grace,  from  the  nature  of  the 
case,  cannot  be,  in  any  degree,  resisted.  The  dis- 
tinction is  lost  sight  of  between  the  common  opera- 
tions of  the  Spirit,  which  are  illuminating,  and  his 
regenerating  grace.  The  former  are  resistible,  the 
latter  is  not.  The  Spirit  may  be  resisted  when  he 
instructs  the  sinner  in  his  duty  and  moves  him  to  its 
discharge.  Nothing  is  more  common.  But  to  talk 
of  resisting  the  creative  power  of  the  Spirit  is  to  speak 
without  meaning.  As  well  talk  of  a  feather  resisting 
a  hurricane,  or  a  straw  a  cataract,  or  a  hillock  of  sand 
a  stormy  sea.  The  sinner  may  be  unwilling  before- 
hand that  regenerating  grace  should  be  exercised 
upon  him  ;  but  it  is  idle  to  speak  of  his  resisting  it 
when  it  is  exercised.  What  can  resist  the  creative 
power  of  God?  Is  it  not  almighty?  Can  finite 
power  resist  infinite,  acting  infinitely?  Now,  regen- 
erating  grace    is    creative    power.      It  is,     therefore. 

Election  Stated  a?id  Proved.  149 

irresistible.  There  is  no  sense  or  degree  in  which  it 
can  be  resisted. 

It  has  thns  been  shown,  that  sufficient  grace  must 
be  irresistible  and  determining  grace.  To  call  any 
other  kind  of  grace  sufficient  for  the  needs  of  a  sinner 
would  imply  a  contradiction.  It  would  be,  as  Pascal 
in  his  criticism  of  the  theology  of  the  Jesuits  tersely 
puts  it,  "a  sufficient  grace  which  sufficeth  not." 
Again  the  Arminian  position  is  given  up,  and  the 
Calvinistic  established.  For,  irresistible  and  deter- 
mining grace  could  only  be  received  in  consequence 
of  God's  decree  to  impart  it.  And  since  only  some 
men  receive  that  grace — for  only  some  are  regenera- 
ted— the  decree  to  confer  it  is  proved  to  be  an  elect- 
ing decree;  that  is,  a  decree  by  which  some  were 
elected  to  be  regenerated.  Any  other  doctrine  in- 
volves the  consequence  that  men  determine  them- 
selves to  their  own  new  creation,  and  therefore  save 
themselves.  But  how  one  can  prepare  himself  for, 
not  to  speak  of  determining,  his  own  creation,  it 
passes  intelligence  to  apprehend. 

It  is  plain,  in  view  of  what  has  been  said,  that  the 
real  question  at  issue  between  Calvinists  and  Armin- 
ians,  in  relation  to  Election,  is  this:  Did  God  decree 
that  he  would  save  some  men,  and  consequently  that 
he  would  give  them  grace  to  determine  their  wills? 
Or,  did  God  decree  to  permit  men  with  the  assistance 
of  grace  to  save  themselves,  and  consequently  that  he 
would  leave  it  to  their  own  wills  finally  to  determine 
the  question  of  their  compliance  with  the  divinely 
fore-ordained  condition  of  salvation?  That  question 
inevitably  resolves  itself  into  this  simple  one:  Is  God 
the  determining  agent  in  actuallv  saving  man?     Or, 

150      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniiniaiiisni. 

is  man  the  determininor  aoent  in  savino"  liinisclf? 
The  determining  agent,  I  say;  for  Arminians  hold 
that  God  provided  atonement  through  Christ,  and 
gives  to  men  the  assisting  and  co-operating  grace  of 
the  Holy  Spirit;  and  that,  without  the  atonement  of 
Christ  and  the  grace  of  the  Spirit,  no  man  could  be 
saved.  But  it  is  the  specific  difference  of  the  Armin- 
ian  doctrine,  so  far  as  this  question  of  the  application 
of  salvation  is  concerned,  that,  in  the  last  analysis, 
J  the  will  of  man  must  be  conceived  as  the  determin- 
ing factor.  I  have,  therefore,  fairly  stated  the  ques- 
tion at  issue,  as  to  this  matter,  between  Calvinists 
and  Arminians. 

But,  that  being  the  state  of  the  question,  who  that 
adores  the  Infinite  God,  and  knows  the  guilt,  de- 
pravity and  dependence  of  the  sinner,  can  hesitate  to 
decide  that,  whatever  may  be  the  speculative  diffi- 
culties attending  it,  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  is  that 
which  consists  with  the  teachings  of  Scripture  and 
the  facts  of  human  experience? 

If  God  be  the  determining  agent  in  the  application 
of  salvation,  it  follows  from  the  fact  that  only  some 
are  actually  saved  that  God  elected  them  to  be  saved. 
The  doctrine  of  the  election  of  individuals  to  salva- 
tion is  proved. 

And  if  God  be  the  determining  agent  in  the  appli- 
cation of  salvation,  it  follows,  from  the  necessary 
consequence  that  the  will  of  man  is  not  the  determin- 
ing agent,  that  election  is  not  conditioned  upon  the 
acts  of  the  human  will,  and  therefore  not  conditioned 
upon  faith  and  good  works  and  perseverance  in  them 
to  the  end.  The  doctrine  of  Unconditional  Election 
is  establisiied. 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  151 

The  conclnsioii  of  the  whole  matter  is,  that  the 
salvation  of  men  from  sin  and  misery  is  to  be  as- 
cribed not  to  their  own  wills  co-operating  with  assist- 
ing grace,  but  to  the  sovereign,  electing  purpose  of 
God  operating  upon  their  wills  by  efficacious  grace. 
"It  is  not  of  him  that  willeth,  nor  of  him  that  run- 
neth, but  of  God  that  sheweth  mercy." 

The  Arminian  doctrine  necessitates  a  conclusion 
opposite  to  this — namely,  that  salvation  as  practically 
applied  is  to  be,  in  the  last  anah'sis,  ascribed  to  the 
will  of  the  sinner,  since  it  is  that  which  determines 
him  to  comply  with  the  gracious  influences  of  the 
Holy  Spirit.  The  following  consequences  logically 

In  the  first  place,  the  principle  upon  which,  in  the 
application  of  redemption,  the  sinner  is  saved,  is  not 
grace,  but  the  energy  of  the  human  will.  The  prin- 
ciple upon  which  salvation  is  provided  is  acknowl- 
edged to  be  grace,  although  we  shall  hereafter  see 
that  Arminianism  even  qualifies  its  announcement  of 
that  principle;  but  the  ultimate  and  determining 
principle  upon  which  salvation  is  applied  is,  and  is  by 
some  frankly  confessed  to  be,  human  willing. 

In  the  second  place,  in  the  matter  of  the  application 
of  salvation  man  is  made  sovereign  and  God  depend- 
ent. God,  it  is  contended,  is  sovereign  in  providing 
salvation,  but  in  applying  it  his  will  is  conditioned 
by  the  acts  of  man's  will.  It  is  not  he  who  decides 
the  question  of  practical  salvation,  but  man.  Hence 
the  decision  of  his  will  is  dependent  upon  the  decision 
of  man's  sovereign  and  self-determining  will.  It  is 
no  answer  to  say,  that  man  is  dependent  on  God 
for  the  grace  without  which  he  could  not  appropriate 



152      Calvmism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

salvation.  That  may  be  so,  but  while  he  is  depend- 
ent on  God  for  the  supply  of  assisting  grace,  he  is  not 
dependent  on  him  for  the  use  of  it.  In  that  respect 
he  is  confessedly  independent  of  God.  He  originates 
action  by  the  self-determining  and  therefore  self- 
dependent  power  of  his  own  will. 

In  the  third  place,  the  glory  of  salvation,  as  a 
whole,  is  divided  between  God  and  man.  As  God 
alone  provides  salvation,  all  the  glory  is  due  to  him 
for  the  provision.  But  gs  man  is  a  co-efficient  with 
God  in  applying  salvation,  to  the  extent  of  his  effi- 
ciency he  is  entitled  to  the  glory  of  the  application. 
As  he  might  accept  or  reject  the  atonement,  and 
might  use  or  decline  to  use  assisting  grace,  his  ac- 
ceptance of  the  one  and  his  use  of  the  other  are  his 
own  undetermined  acts,  and  the  credit  of  them  is  his 
own.  He  has  made  a  praiseworthy  employment  of 
his  powers  and  opportunities,  and  the  praise  cannot 
justly  be  denied  him.  And  as  it  is  his  natural  will, 
undetermined  by  divine  influence,  which  decides  to 
use  grace  and  appropriate  salvation,  it  is  his  natural 
will  which  shares  the  glory  with  God  !  To  this  it 
may  be  replied,  that  repentance  is  a  confession  of  sin 
and  misery  and  faith  of  weakness  and  want,  and  it 
would  be  absurd  to  ascribe  glory  to  a  criminal  plead- 
ing for  pardon  and  a  beggar  suing  for  help.  That 
would  be  true  did  the  grace  of  God  determine  the 
sinner  to  repentance  and  faith.  But,  if  by  the  un- 
determined energy  of  his  will,  he  overcomes  the  diffi- 
culties opposed  by  the  flesh,  the  world  and  the  devil, 
and  makes  the  sacrifice  of  himself  to  Christ  and  his 
service,  the  praise  of  his  conversion  is  due  to  him. 
Conversion  is  a  glorious   thing.     The  glory  for  con- 

Election  Stated  and  Proved.  153 

version  is  clue  somewhere.     Either  it  is  due  to  grace 
or  to  the  sinner's  will      If  it  is  not  effected   by  grace 
it  is  not  due  to  it.      If,  as  is  contended,   it  is  effected 
by  the  will,  to  the  will  the  glory  is  due.     The  prayers 
of  a  pious  Arminian  deny  this  ;  his  theology  affirms  it. 
In  the  fourth  place,  the  tendency  is  inevitable  to  a 
semi-Pelagian  subversion  of  the  gospel  scheme.      It 
is  not  intended  to  bandy  opprobrious  epithets,  but  the 
interests  of  truth  require  that  the  logical  tendencies  of 
a  system  should  be  pointed  out.      From  an  early  period 
in  the  history  of  the  Christian  Church  two  doctrines, 
in  regard  to  the  experience  of  salvation,  have  been  in 
conflict  with  each  other,  and  have  struggled  for  the 
mastery   with   varying   fortunes.     The    one    is    that 
grace  effects  salvation  ;  the  other,  that  free-will  effects 
it.      Around  these  two  doctrines   grew   up   two  con- 
tending systems,  which  from  their  leading  representa- 
tives were  denominated   Augustinianism   and  Pelag- 
gianism.      Intermediate  between   these  two,  adopting 
some   and    rejecting   some    of  the  elements  of  each, 
arose  another  system,  which  from  the  fact  that  it  first 
took  root  at  Marseilles  was  called  Massilianism,  and 
from  the  name  of  its  chief  exponent  has  been  denom- 
inated Cassianism.      In,  the  course  of  time  it  received 
the  name  of  Semi-Pelagianism— a  name  which  suffi- 
ciently intimated  the  belief  that  it  w^as  a  modification 
of  Pelagianism,   rather  than  of  Augustinianism,   and 
was  justified  by  the  circumstance  that  it  originated 
as  a  protest  against  the   latter  system.     Its  charac- 
teristic  doctrine   was    the    co-efficiency  of  grace  and 
free-will  in  producing  individual  salvation.      Armin- 
ianism,  in  its  recoil   from  Calvinism,  which   is  essen- 
tially the  same  as  Augustinianism,  was  a  modification 

154      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  A]-niinianisin. 

of  Seiiii-Pelaoianisin  as  it  had  been  of  Pelas^ianism. 
It  concurred  with  Senii-Pelaf2:ianisni  in  affirmino-  the 
doctrines  of  conditional  election,  universal  atonement 
and  the  defectibility  of  the  saints.  The  regulative 
principles  of  the  two  systems  were  therefore  precisely 
the  same.  They  were  imbued  with  the  same  genius  and 
spirit.  Of  -what  value,  then,  were  their  differences? 
Semi-Pelagianisni  maintained  the  existence  of  a  de- 
gree of  free-will,  in  spiritual  matters,  in  the  nature  of 
man  after  the  Fall.  Arminianism  holds  that  man 
has,  antecedently  to  regeneration,  a  degree  of  free- 
will ;  that,  however,  is  not  an  element  of  nature,  but 
a  gift  of  grace  in  consequence  of  the  atonement  of 
Christ.  Semi-Pelagianism  taught  that  by  virtue  of 
his  natural  free-will  man  may  begin  his  conversion, 
and  that  then  the  aids  of  grace  are  furnished  to  enable 
him  to  complete  it.  Arminianism  teaches  that  grace 
operating  upon  the  free-will  which  it  confers  stimu- 
lates it  to  begin  conversion  and  then  assists  it  to 
complete  it.  There  would  appear  then  to  be  a  dif- 
ference between  the  systems  in  regard  to  the  begin- 
ning of  conversion,  one  holding  that  the  natural  will, 
and  the  other,  that  the  natural  will  aided  by  grace 
begins  it. 

But  what  exactly,  according  to  Evangelical  Armin- 
ianism, is  the  significance  of  this  prevenient  grace 
which  operates  upon  the  will  to  induce  it  to  seek 
conversion?  The  answer  to  this  question  will  be 
furnished  from  two  w^riters,  one  in  the  earliest  period 
of  the  system  and  the  other  in  the  most  recent. 
"x\llowing,"  says  John  Wesley,  "that  all  the  souls 
of  men  are  dead  in  sin  by  nature,  this  excuses  none, 
seeinor    there  is  no  man    that    is   in  a  state  of  mere 

Elcclioji  Stated  and  Proved.  155 

nature:  there  is  no  man,  unless  he  has  quenched  the 
Spirit,  that  is  wholly  void  of  the  grace  of  God.  No 
man  living  is  entirely  destitute  of  what  is  vulgarly 
called  'natural  conscience.'  But  this  is  not  natural: 
it  is  more  properly  termed  'preventing  grace.' 
Every  man  has  a  greater  or  less  measure  of  this, 
which  wai^eth  not  for  the  call  of  man.  Every  one 
has,  sooner  or  later,  good  desires,  although  the 
generality  of  men  stifle  them  before  they  can  strike 
deep  root,  or  produce  any  considerable  fruit.  Every 
one  has  some  measure  of  that  light,  some  faint  glim- 
mering ray  which,  sooner  or  later,  more  or  less,  en- 
lightens every  man  that  cometh  into  the  world. 
And  every  one,  unless  he  be  one  of  the  small  num- 
ber, whose  conscience  is  seared  as  with  a  hot  iron, 
feels  more  or  less  uneasy  when  he  acts  contrary  to 
the  light  of  his  own  conscience.  So  that  no  man 
sins  because  he  has  not  grace,  but  because  he  does 
not  use  the  grace  which  he  hath."^  "One,"  ob- 
serves Miner  Raymond,  "who  improves  the  common 
grace  given  to  all  mankind,  and  the  special  privileges 
providentially  his,  is  enlightened  as  to  the  eyes  of  his 
understanding,  or  as  to  the  discriminating  power  of 
conscience,  so  as  to  see  his  duties  and  obligations,  to 
apprehend  his  sins  and  his  sinfulness,  and  to  become 
fully  persuaded  of  his  need  of  a  divine  Saviour  and 
his  entire  dependence  upon  the  grace  and  mercy  of 

What  material  difference  is  there  between  the  two 
positions?  If,  says  the  Semi-Pelagian,  one,  comply- 
ing with  the  light  of  nature    and    the    warnings  of 

^Serm.  on  Workiug  out  our  own  Salvation. 
""  Syst.  Thcol.,  Vol.  ii,  p.  348. 

156      Calvinlsrii  and  Evangelical  /[nninianisnt. 

conscience,  begin  the  work  of  conversion,  grace  will 
assist  him.  If,  says  the  Evangelical  Arniinian,  one 
improve  prevenient  grace,  that  is,  the  light  of  natural 
conscience,  further  grace  will  be  granted  to  assist 
him.  What  is  the  thing  to  be  improved?  The 
light  of  natural  conscience,  answers  the  Semi-Pelag- 
gian;  the  light  of  natural  conscience  which  is  pre- 
venient grace,  replies  the  Arminian.  Is  the  differ- 
ence more  than  nominal?  What  is  that  which  does 
the  improving?  The  natural  will,  says  the  Semi- 
Pelagian;  the  natural  will,  the  Arminian  must  also 
say.  For,  it  must  be  either  the  natural  will  or  the 
will  renewed  by  the  Holy  Spirit.  It  cannot  be  the 
latter,  for  confessedly,  the  man  is  not  yet  renewed. 
It  must,  therefore,  be  the  former.  But,  urges  the 
Arminian,  the  will  is  assisted  by  grace.  Yes,  but  as 
the  will  may  decline  the  assistance,  it  is  the  master 
of  the  situation.  For,  if  it  decline,  as  grace  cannot 
decline  the  assistance  of  grace,  it  is  the  natural  will 
which  declines  it;  and  so,  if  it  accept  the  assistance, 
it  must  be  the  same  will  which  accepts.  But,  con- 
tends the  Arminian  further,  the  will  is  enabled  by 
grace.  Here  a  demurrer  must  be  put  in.  He  is  not 
entitled  to  use  the  word  enabled.  For,  as  he  admits 
that  the  sinner  in  his  natural  condition  is  spiritually 
dead,  enabling  grace  would  be  life-giving  or  regener- 
ating and  determining  grace;  and  without  now  going 
into  the  question  how  far  that  sort  of  grace  is  en- 
abling or  not,  it  is  enough  to  say  that  it  is  excluded 
by  the  supposition  that  the  sinner  is  not  yet  regener- 
ated. It  is  evident  that  the  two  systems  come  very 
near  together  in  regard  to  the  condition  of  the 
aw^akened  sinner  previously  to  his  regeneration. 

E/c'clion  Staled  and  Proved.  157 

But  the  crucial  test  is  the  doctrine  of  reo-eneration. 
The  Semi-Pelagian  system  is  definitely  Synergistic; 
it  affirms  the  co-operation  and  co-efficiency  of  grace 
and  the  human  will  in  the  change  of  conversion  in- 
cluding regeneration.  It  denies  that  regeneration  is 
an  instantaneous  act  of  God  alone,  and  maintains  that 
conversion  culminating  in  regeneration  is  the  joint 
work  of  man  and  God.  The  later  Lutheran  system  is 
also  Synergistic,  but  to  what  extent?  Luther  him- 
self was  no  Synergist.  He  went  further  than  Augus- 
tin  and  further  than  Calvin  in  asserting  the  sole  effi- 
ciency of  God,  as  any  one  will  be  convinced  by  glan- 
cing at  his  Bondage  of  the  Will.  But  the  Lutheran 
doctrine  soon  went  away  from  the  views  of  the  great 
Reformer,  and,  absorbing  gradually  those  of  Melanch- 
thon  in  his  last  utterances,  became  afterwards  under 
the  influence  of  such  men  as  Gerhard  definitely  Syner- 
gistic. Its  Synergism,  however,  is  not  strictly  co- 
operation; it  is,  on  man's  part,  non-resistance  and 
passive  consent.  If  one  does  not  resist  the  Word  and 
the  Spirit,  God  regenerates  him.  His  non-resistance, 
it  is  true,  conditions  regeneration,  but  the  will  is  not 
an  active  co-efiicient.  This  allusion  is  made  to  the 
Lutheran  doctrine  in  order  to  get  by  comparison  a 
clear  conception  of  the  Arminian.  On  the  one  hand, 
the  Arminian  doctrine  is  distinguished  from  the  Semi- 
Pelagian  in  a  two-fold  way:  by  denying  what  thel 
Semi-Pelagian  affirms,  namely,  that  man  apart  from 
grace  begins  conversion,  and  by  holding  that  regener-i 
ation,  although  conditioned  by  repentance,  faith  andj 
justification,  is  accomplished  by  God  himself.  It 
agrees  with  the  Semi-Pelagian  in  making  the  humai 
w^ill  an  active  co-efficient  in  conversion  before  regent 

158      CalrinisDi  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

eration,  and  the  deteriiiiiiing  factor  in  presenting  the 
conditions  npon  which  regeneration  is  effected.  It  is 
distingnished  from  the  Lntheran  doctrine  by  denying 
that  mere  non-resistance  is  the  condition  of  regenera- 
tion, and  maintaining  that  the  positive  co-operation 
of  the  will  with  grace  in  repentance  and  faith  is  that 
^condition.  It  agrees  with  the  Lutheran  in  holding 
that  a  state  of  the  sinner's  will,  determined  by  him- 
self, is  a  condition  precedent  to  the  regenerating  act. 
The  Evangelical  Arminian  doctrine,  therefore,  oc- 
cupies a  position  between  the  Lutheran  and  the  Semi- 
Pelagian,  with  a  stronger  affinity  with  the  latter  and 
a  greater  tendency  towards  it.  This  is  shown  by  the 
development  of  the  Evangelical  Arminian  Theology. 
The  Remonstrants  declined  tow^ards  Semi-Pelagianism 
as  they  receded  from  Arminins,  and  so  the  Evangeli- 
cal Arminians  are  more  and  more  tending  towards  it 
as  the  interval  widens  between  them  and  Wesley. 

It  may  be  remarked,  in  passing,  that  this  recession 
of  the  Evangelical  Arminian  theology  from  its  first 
position  is  apparent  in  connection  with  other  phases 
of  doctrine  than  that  immediately  under  consider- 
ation. Wesley  and  Watson  held  that  the  race  suffer 
penally  in  consequence  of  Adam's  sin.  Raymond 
denounces  "the  abhorrent  doctrine  of  inherited  obli- 
gation to  punishment."  ^  By  Wesley  and  Watson  the 
doctrine  of  total  depravity  was  more  strongly  and 
unqualifiedly  asserted  than  it  is  now.  Wesley  allowed 
the  imputation  of  Christ's  righteousness.  The  denial 
of  it  was  begun  by  Watson,  and  it  is  now  emphati- 
cally rejected.  But  it  is  in  regard  to  the  supreme 
question  in  hand  of  the  entire  dependence  of  the  poor, 
^  Syst.  ThcoL,  vol.  ii.  p.  37. 

Election  Stated  and  Pro-Jcd.  159 

guilty,  tniserable,  undone  sinner  upon  the  grace  of 
God  for  conversion  that  this  downward  tendency  be- 
comes as  conspicuous  as  it  is  lamentable  to  every 
lover  of  gospel  truth.  The  venerable  John  Wesley 
failed  not  to  affirm  this  dependence  in  strong  and  un- 
mistakable terms.  Where  will  you  find  an  assertion 
by  him  of  the  supremacy  of  the  sinner's  will  in  the 
great  concern  of  personal  salvation?  But  now  we 
hear  it  boldly  and  roundly  declared  by  learned  theo- 
logians *'that  man  determines  the  question  of  his  sal- 
vation." These  omnious  words  peal  on  the  ear  like 
the  notes  of  a  fire-bell  at  the  dead  of  night.  They 
mean  a  sure  descent  to  a  lower  level  of  doctrine  than 
that  of  the  early  Evangelical  Arminians.  Those  men 
were  prevented  by  their  deep  experience  of  grace  from 
using  this  language.  But  alas!  they  sowed  the  seed 
which  have  sprung  up  and  are  now  bearing  the  fruits 
of  Semi-Pelagianism.  Well,  it  may  be  asked,  what  is 
there  so  bad  in  that?  What  if  the  logical  tendencies 
of  the  system  are  in  the  direction  of  Semi-Pelagian- 
ism? To  that  question  this  must  be  replied:  James 
Arminius  did  not,  as  Limborch  afterwards  did,  advo- 
cate that  theology;  John  Wesley  would  have  gone  to 
the  stake  before  he  Vn^ouM  have  confessed  his  approval 
of  it;  it  is  one  for  which  Jesuits  have  contended,  and 
against  which  pious  Romanists  have  struggled;  it  is, 
in  some  respects,  less  orthodox  than  that  of  Trent; 
such  men  as  Prosper,  Hilary  and  Fulgentius  treated 
it  as  essentially  Pelagian,  and  the  ^Magdeburg  Cen- 
turiators  afterwards  did  the  same;  in  short,  it  denies 
the  supremacy  of  the  grace  of  God  and  reduces  it 
into  subordination  to  the  human  will,  and  is  therefore 
a  subversion  of  tlie  gospel  scheme.      I  have  sung  and 

i6o     Calviiiism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

prayed  and  preached  with  Evangelical  Arminians, 
and  have  been  with  them  in  precious  seasons  of 
reviving  grace;  some  of  them  are  among  my  most 
cherished  friends,  and  some  I  have  seen  cross  the 
Jordan  of  death  whose  shoes  I  would  have  carried; 
but  could  I  get  the  ear  of  my  Evangelical  Arminian 
brethren,  I  would  ask  their  attention  to  those  ill- 
boding  and  alarming  words  issuing  from  high  places: 
''''Man  determines  the  question  of  his  salvation^  Do 
they  express  the  logical  result  of  their  theological 
principles?  If  they  do,  is  it  not  time  to  subject  those 
principles  to  a  fresh  examination? 

Note. — The  reader  is  referred  for  a  very  able,  though  necessarily 
succinct,  discussion  of  the  points  in  this  controversy  by  the  illus- 
trious Southern  divine.  Dr.  R.  L.  Dabney,  in  hii  Tlieo'.ogy :  Lec- 
tures XLVIIL,  XLIX.,  on  the  Armiuian  Theory  of  Redemption. 
Senis  in  cccluui  redcat. 



The  following  are  the  statements  of  the  Westmin- 
ster Confession  of  Faith,  which  are  either  indirectly 
or  directly  concerned  about  the  doctrine  of  Reproba- 
tion : 

'^God  from  all  eternity  did,  by  the  most  wise  and 
holy  counsel  of  his  own  will,  freely  and  unchangeably 
ordain  whatsoever  comes  to  pass :  yet  so  as  thereby 
neither  is  God  the  author  of  sin,  nor  is  violence 
offered  to  the  will  of  the  creatures,  nor  is  the  liberty 
and  contingency  of  second  causes  taken  away,  but 
rather  established. 

"By  the  decree  of  God,  for  the  manifestation  of  his 
glory,  some  men  and  angels  are  predestinated  unto 
everlasting  life,  and  others  foreordained  unto  everlast- 
ing death. 

"These  angels  and  men,  thus  predestinated  and 
foreordained,  are  particularly  and  unchangeably  de- 
signed ;  and  their  number  is  so  certain  and  definite, 
that  it  cannot  be  either  increased  or  diminished. 

"The  rest  of  mankind  [that  is,  those  not  elected  to 
life]  God  was  pleased,  according  to  the  imsearchable 
counsel  of  his  will,  whereby  he  extendeth  or  with- 
holdeth  mercy  as  he  pleaseth,  for  the  glory  of  his 
sovereign  power  over  his  creatures,  to  pass  by,  and  to 

II  (i6i) 

i62      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniuiianism. 

ordain  them  to  dishonor  and  wrath  for  their  sin  [N. 
B.],  to  the  praise  of  his  glorious  justice. 

"Although,  in  relation  to  the  foreknowledge  and 
decree  of  God,  the  first  cause,  all  things  co:ne  to  pass 
immutably  and  infallibly;  yet  by  the  same  providence 
he  ordereth  them  to  fall  out,  according  to  the  nature 
of  second  causes,  either  necessarily,  freely,  or  con- 

"The  almighty  power,  unsearchable  wisdom,  and 
infinite  goodness  of  God  so  far  manifest  themselves 
in  his  providence,  that  it  extendeth  itself  even  to  the 
first  fall,  and  all  other  sins  of  angels  and  men;  and 
that  not  by  a  bare  permission,  but  such  as  hath 
joined  with  it  a  most  wise  and  powerful  bounding, 
and  otherwise  ordering  and  governing  of  them,  in  a 
manifold  dispensation  to  his  own  holy  ends:  yet  so 
as  the  sinfulness  thereof  proceedeth  only  from  the 
creature,  and  not  from  God,  who,  being  most  holy 
and  righteous,  neither  is,  nor  can  be,  the  author  or 
approver  of  sin.      [N.  B.] 

"As  for  those  wicked  and  ungodly  men,  whom 
God,  as  a  righteous  judge,  for  former  sins,  doth  blind 
and  harden,  from  them  he  not  only  withholdeth  his 
grace,  whereby  they  might  have  been  enlightened  in 
their  understandings,  and  wrought  upon  in  their 
hearts;  but  sometimes  also  withdraweth  the  gifts 
which  they  had,  and  exposeth  them  to  such  objects 
as  their  corruption  makes  occasion  for  sin  ;  and 
withal  gives  them  over  to  their  own  lusts,  the  temp- 
tations of  the  world,  and  the  power  of  Satan:  where- 
by it  comes  to  pass  that  they  harden  themselves, 
even  under  those  means  which  God  useth  for  the 
softening  of  others. 

Reprobation  Stated  and  Proved.  163 

"Our  first  parents,  being  seduced  by  the  subtilty 
and  temptation  of  Satan,  sinned  in  eating  the  forbid- 
den fruit.  This  their  sin  God  was  pleased,  according 
to  his  wise  and  holy  counsel,  to  permit  [TO  PER- 
MIT, be  it  noticed],  having  purposed  to  order  it  to 
his  own  glory. 

"They  being  the  root  of  all  mankind,  the  guilt  of 
this  sin  was  imputed  ...  to  all  their  posterity, 
descending  from  them  by  ordinary  generation. 

"The  first  covenant  made  with  man  was  a  cove- 
nant of  works;  wdierein  life  was  promised  to  Adam, 
and  in  him  to  his  posterity,  upon  condition  of  per- 
fect and  personal  obedience. 

"Man,  by  his  fall,  having  made  himself  incapable 
of  life  by  that  covenant,  etc. 

"God  hath  endued  the  will  of  man  with  that 
natural  liberty,  that  it  is  neither  forced,  nor  by  any 
absolute  necessity  of  nature  determined  to  good  or 

"]\Ian,  in  his  state  of  innocency,  had  freedom  and 
power  to  will  and  to  do  that  which  was  good  and 
well-pleasing  to  God  ;  but  yet  mutably,  so  that  he 
might  fall  from  it.^ 

"All  those  whom  God  hath  predestinated  unto  life, 
and  those  only,  he  is  pleased,  in  his  appointed  and 
accepted  time,  effectually  to  call  by  his  w^ord  and 
Spirit   out  of  that  state  of  sin  and  death,   in  which 

^  These  statements  touching  the  first  sin  have  been  quoted,  be- 
cause they  show  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  to  be — that  man's  will  at 
first  was  free,  neither  constrained  by  an  extrinsic  nor  an  intrinsic 
force  to  sin;  that  man  had  full  power  to  stand;  and,  therefore, 
that  the  reprobate  were  not  created  to  sin  and  be  damned,  nor 
necessitated  by  God  to  sin. 

164     Calvinisvi  and  Evangelical  Anniniaitism. 

they  are  by  nature,  to  grace  and  salvation  by  Jesus 
Christ,  etc.  .  .  .  Others,  not  elected,  although 
they  may  be  called  by  the  ministry  of  the  word,  and 
may  have  some  common  operations  of  the  Spirit,  yet 
they  never  truly  come  unto  Christ  and  therefore  can- 
not be  saved. ' ' 

The  Westminster  Larger  Catechism,  after  stating 
the  doctrine  of  election,  says:  '*  And  also,  according 
to  his  sovereign  power,  and  the  unsearchable  counsel 
of  his  own  will  (whereby  he  extendeth  or  withholdeth 
favor  as  he  pleaseth)  [God]  hath  passed  by,  and  fore- 
ordained the  rest  to  dishonor  and  wrath,  to  be  for 
their  sin  inflicted  [N.  B.],  to  the  praise  of  the  glory  of 
his  justice." 

The  following  statements  are  extracted  from  the 
Judgment  of  the  Synod  of  Dort. 

"Forasmuch  as  all  men  have  sinned  in  Adam,  and 
are  become  guilty  of  the  curse,  and  of  eternal  death  ; 
God  had  done  wrong  unto  no  man,  if  it  had  pleased 
him  to  leave  all  mankind  in  sin  and  under  the  curse, 
and  to  condemn  them  for  sin. 

"  The  cause  or  fault  of  this  unbelief,  as  of  all  other 
sins,  is  in  no  wise  in  God,  but  in  man.  But  faith  in 
Jesus  Christ,  and  salvation  through  him,  is  the  free 
gift  of  God. 

"But  whereas,  in  process  of  time,  God  bestoweth 
faith  on  some,  and  not  on  others,  this  proceeds  from 
his  eternal  decree.  For,  from  the  beginning  of  the 
world  God  knoweth  all  his  works.  Acts  xv.  18,  Eph. 
i.  II.  According  to  which  decree,  he  graciously 
softens  the  hearts  of  the  elect,  however  otherwise 
hard  ;  and  as  for  those  that  are  not  elect,  he  in  just 
judgment  leaveth  them  to  their  malice  and  hardness. 

Reprobation  Stated  and  Proved.  165 

And  here  especially  is  discovered  unto  us  the  deep, 
and  both  merciful  and  just,  difference  put  between 
men,  equally  lost;  that  is  to  say,  the  decree  of  election 
and  reprobation,  revealed  in  God's  Word.  Which  as 
perverse,  impure  and  wavering  men  do  wrest  unto 
their  own  destruction,  so  it  affords  unspeakable  com- 
fort to  godly  and  religious  souls. 

''Moreover,  the  holy  Scripture  herein  chiefly  man- 
ifests and  commends  unto  us  this  eternal  and  free 
grace  of  our  election,  in  that  it  further  witnesseth, 
that  not  all  men  are  elected,  but  some  not  elected,  or 
passed  over  in  God's  eternal  election:  whom  doubtless 
God  in  his  most  free,  most  just,  unreproachable  and 
unchangeable  good  pleasure  hath  decreed  to  leave  in 
the  common  misery  (whereinto  by  their  own  default 
they  precipitated  themselves),  and  not  to  bestow  sav- 
ing faith  and  the  grace  of  conversion  upon  them;  but 
leaving  them  in  their  own  ways,  and  under  just 
judgment,  at  last  to  condemn  and  everlastingly  punish 
them,  not  only  for  their  unbelief,  but  also  for  their 
other  sins,  to  the  manifestation  of  his  justice.  And 
this  is  the  decree  of  reprobation,  which  in  no  wise 
makes  God  the  author  of  sin,  (a  thing  blasphemous 
once  to  conceive,)  but  a  fearful,  unreprovable  and 
just  judge  and  revenger." 

The  French  Confession:  "Others  he  [God]  left  in 
tliat  corruption  and  damnation,  in  whom  he  might 
as  well  make  manifest  his  justice,  by  condemning 
them  justly  in  their  time,  as  also  declare  the  riches 
of  his  mercy  in  the  others.  For  some  are  not  better 
than  others,  till  such  time  as  the  Lord  doth  make  a 
difference,  according  to  that  immutable  counsel 
which  he  had  decreed  in  Christ  Jesus  before  the 
creation  of  the  world." 

i66     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisin. 

The  Belgic  Confession:  "We  believe  that  God 
(after  that  the  whole  offspring  of  Adam  was  cast 
headlong  into  perdition  and  destruction  through  the 
default  of  the  first  man)  hath  declared  and  showed 
himself  to  be  such  an  one  as  he  is  indeed;  namely, 
both  merciful  and  just  .  .  .  just,  in  leaving  others  in 
that  their  fall  and  perdition,  whereinto  they  had 
thrown  themselves  headlong." 

Fornmla  Consensus  Helvetica:  "In  such  wise  in- 
deed did  God  determine  to  illustrate  his  glory  that 
he  decreed,  first  to  create  man  in  integrity,  then  to 
permit  his  fall,  and  finally  to  pity  some  from  among 
the  fallen  and  so  to  elect  them,  but  to  leave  the 
others  in  the  corrupt  mass,  and  at  length  to  devote 
them  to  eternal  destruction." 

The  Irish  Confession  (Episcopal):  "God,  from  all 
eternity,  did,  by  his  unchangeable  counsel,  ordain 
whatsoever  in  time  should  come  to  pass:  yet  so  as 
thereby  no  violence  is  offered  to  the  wills  of  the 
reasonable  creatures,  and  neither  the  liberty  nor  the 
contingency  of  the  second  causes  is  taken  away,  but 
established  rather. 

"By  the  same  eternal  counsel,  God  hath  predesti- 
nated some  unto  life,  and  reprobated  some  unto  death: 
of  both  which  there  is  a  certain  number,  known  only 
to  God,  which  can  neither  be  increased  nor  dimin- 

These  statements  of  the  doctrine  of  reprobation  in 
Calvinistic  formularies  may  be  digested  into  the  fol- 
lowing definition: 

Reprobation  is  God's  eternal  purpose,  presupposing 
his  foreknowledge  of  the  fall  of  mankind  into  sin 
through  their  own  fault,  and  grounded    in  the  sove- 

Reprobation  Stated  and  Proved,  167 

reign  pleasure  of  his  own  will,  not  to  elect  to  salvation 
certain  individual  men, — that  is,  to  pass  them  by,  and 
to  continue  them  under  condemnation  for  their  sins, 
— in  order  to  the  glory  of  his  justice. 
The  scriptural  proofs  are  as  follows: 

1.  The  testimonies  which  have  been  adduced  to 
prove  the  doctrine  of  election  also  establish  that  of 
reprobation;  for,  if  God  elected  to  salvation  some  of 
mankind,  it  follows  as  a  necessary  inference  that  he 
did  not  elect  the  rest,  but  purposed  to  continue  them 
under  condemnation  for  their  sins. 

2.  God  did  not  create  men  in  order  that  they  should 
sin  and  be  damned  and  so  glorify  his  justice;  for  he 
is  not  the  author  of  sin,  but  man,  in  the  first  instance, 
sinned  and  fell  by  the  free  and  avoidable  decision  of 
his  own  will. 

Gen.  i.  26,  27,  31:  ''And  God  said,  Let  us  make 
man  in  our  image,  after  our  likeness  ...  So  God 
created  man  in  his  own  image,  in  the  image  of  God 
created  he  him."  "And  God  saw  every  thing  that 
he  had  made,  and,  behold,  it  was  very  good." 

Gen.  V.  i:  "In  the  day  that  God  created  man,  in 
the  likeness  of  God  made  he  him." 

1  Cor.  xi.  7:  "For  a  man  indeed  not  to  cover  his 
head,  forasmuch  as  he  is  the  image  and  glory  of 

2  Cor.  iii.  18:  "But  we  all,  with  open  face  behold- 
ing as  in  a  glass  the  glory  of  the  Lord,  are  changed 
into  the  same  image  from  glory  to  glory." 

Eph.  iv.  24:  "And  that  ye  put  on  the  new  man 
which  after  God  is  created  in  righteousness  and  true 

Col.  iii.  10:   "And  have  put  on  the  new  man,  which 

1 68     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism. 

is  renewed  in  knowledge  after  the  image  of  him  that 
created  him." 

Jas.  iii.  9:  "Therewith  bless  we  God  even  the 
Father;  and  therewith  curse  we  men,  which  are  made 
after  the  similitude  of  God." 

Ecc.  vii.  29:  "Lo,  this  only  have  I  found,  that 
God  made  man  upright;  but  they  have  sought  out 
many  inventions." 

Ps.  xcix.  8:  "Thou  tookest  vengeance  of  their  in- 

Acts,  xvii.  26:  "And  hath  made  of  one  blood  all 
nations  of  men." 

Rom.  i.  20,  21:  "  For  the  invisible  things  of  him 
from  the  creation  of  the  world  are  clearly  seen,  being 
understood  by  the  things  that  are  made,  even  his 
eternal  power  and  Godhead;  so  that  they  are  without 
excuse;  because  that  when  they  knew  God,  they 
glorified  him  not  as  God,"  etc. 

Rom.  V.  12,  17,  18,  19:  "By  one  man  sin  entered 
into  the  world,  and  death  by  sin;  and  so  death  passed 
upon  all  men,  for  that  all  have  sinned  .  .By  one 
man's  offence  death  reigned  by  one  ...  By  the  of- 
fence of  one  [or,  one  offence]  judgment  came  upon 
all  men  to  condemnation  ...  By  one  man's  diso- 
bedience many  were  made  sinners." 

Gen.  iii.  12,  17:  "And  the  man  said.  The  woman 
whom  thou  gavest  to  be  with  me,  she  gave  me  of  the 
tree,  and  I  did  eat  .  .  .  And  unto  Adam  he  said. 
Because  thou  hast  hearkened  unto  tlie  voice  of  thy 
wife,  and  hast  eaten  of  the  tree,  of  which  I  commanded 
thee,  saying,  Thou  shalt  not  eat  of  it:  cursed  is  the 
ground  for  thy  sake,"  etc. 

Jas.    i.    13-17:     "Let    no    man    say    when     he    is 

Reprobation  Stated  and  Proved.  169 

tempted,  I  am  tempted  of  God:  for  God  cannot  be 
tempted  with  evil,  neither  tempteth  he  any  man: 
but  every  man  is  tempted,  when  he  is  drawn  away 
of  his  own  lust,  and  enticed.  Then  when  lust  hath 
conceived,  it  bringeth  forth  sin:  and  sin,  when  it  is 
finished,  bringeth  forth  death.  Do  not  err,  my 
beloved  brethren.  Every  good  gift  and  every  perfect 
gift  is  from  above,  and  cometh  down  from  the  Father 
of  lights,  with  whom  is  no  variableness,  neither 
shadow  of  turning." 

I  John  ii.  16:  "For  all  that  is  in  the  world,  the 
lust  of  the  flesh,  and  the  lust  of  the  eyes,  and  the 
pride  of  life,  is  not  of  the  Father." 

Hos.  xiii.  9:  "O  Israel,  thou  hast  destroyed  thy- 

3.  Some  testimonies  to  the  awful  fact  of  the  repro- 
bation of  the  wicked  are  subjoined. 

Ex.  vii.  3,  4,  and  ix.  12,  16:  "And  I  will  harden 
Pharaoh's  heart,  and  multiply  my  signs  and  wonders 
in  the  land  of  Egypt.  But  Pharaoh  shall  not  hearken 
unto  you."  "And  the  Lord  hardened  the  heart  of 
Pharaoh,  and  he  hearkened  not  unto  them;  as  the 
Lord  had  spoken  unto  Moses.  .  .  .  And  in  very 
deed  for  this  cause  have  I  raised  thee  up,  for  to  show 
in  thee  my  power;  and  that  my  name  may  be  declared 
in  all  the  earth." 

Dent.  xxix.  4:  "Yet  the  Lord  hath  not  given  you 
a  heart  to  perceive,  and  eyes  to  see,  arid  ears  to  hear, 
unto  this  day." 

Deut.  xxxiii.  35:  "  To  me  belongeth  vengeance  and 
recompense;  their  foot  shall  slide  in  due  time:  for  the 
day  of  their  calamity  is  at  hand,  and  the  things  that 
shall  come  upon  them  make  haste." 

■o     Calvin  is  in  and  Evano^elical  Arniinianism 

Prov.  xvi.  4:  "The  Lord  hath  made  all  things  for 
himself:  yea  even  the  wicked  for  the  day  of  evil." 

Isa.  vi.  9,  10:  "And  he  said,  Go  and  tell  this  peo- 
ple, Hear  ye  indeed,  but  understand  not;  and  see  ye 
indeed,  but  perceive  not.  Make  the  heart  of  this 
people  fat,  and  make  their  ears  heavy,  and  shut  their 
eyes;  lest  they  see  with  their  eyes,  and  hear  with 
their  ears,  and  understand  with  their  hearts,  and  con- 
vert, and  be  healed. ' ' 

Isa.  xxix.  10:  "For  the  Lord  hath  poured  out  upon 
you  the  spirit  of  deep  sleep,  and  hath  closed  your 

Isa.  XXX.  33:  "For  Tophet  is  ordained  of  old;  yea, 
for  the  king  it  is  prepared." 

Isa.  Ix.  2:  "For,  behold,  the  darkness  shall  cover 
the  earth,  and  gross  darkness  the  people:  but  the 
Lord  shall  arise  upon  thee,  and  his  glory  shall  be 
seen  upon  thee." 

Mai.  i.  2-5:  "I  have  loved  you,  saith  the  Lord. 
Yet  ye  say,  wherein  hast  thou  loved  us?  Was  not 
Bsau  Jacob's  brother?  saith  the  Lord:  yet  I  loved 
Jacob,  and  I  hated  Esau,  and  laid  his  mountains  and 
his  heritao^e  waste  for  the  draQ^ons  of  the  wilderness. 
Whereas  Edom  saith,  we  are  impoverished,  but  we 
will  return  and  build  the  desolate  places;  thus  saith 
the  Lord  of  hosts,  They  shall  build,  but  I  will  throw 
down;  and  they  shall  call  them.  The  border  of  wicked- 
ness, and,  The  people  against  whom  the  Lord  hath 
indignation  forever.  And  your  eyes  shall  see,  and  ye 
shall  say,  The  Lord  will  be  magnified  from  the  bordei 
of  Israel." 

Matt.  xi.  25,  26:  "At  that  time  Jesus  answered  and 
said,   I    thank  thee,   O  Father,   Lord  of  heaven  and 

Reprobation  Stated  and  Proved.  171 

earth,  because  thou  hast  hid  these  tliiugs  from  the 
wise  and  prudent,  and  hast  revealed  them  unto  babes. 
Even  so,  Father:  for  so  it  seemed  good  in  thy  sight." 

Matt.  xiii.  13,  14:  "Therefore  speak  I  to  them  in 
parables;  because  they  seeing  see  not;  and  hearing 
they  hear  not,  neither  do  they  understand.  And  in 
them  is  fulfilled  the  prophecy  of  Esaias,  which  saith. 
By  hearing  ye  shall  hear,  and  shall  not  understand; 
and  seeing  ye  shall  see,  and  shall  not  perceive." 

Mark  iv.  11,  12  :  "And  he  said  unto  them,  Unto 
you  it  is  given  to  know  the  mystery  of  the  kingdom 
of  God  :  but  unto  them  that  are  without,  all  these 
things  are  done  in  parables  :  that  seeing  they  may 
see,  and  not  perceive ;  and  hearing  they  may  hear, 
and  not  understand  ;  lest  at  any  time  they  should  be 
converted,  and  their  sins  should  be  forgiven  them." 

Lk.  iv.  25-28:  "But  I  tell  you  of  a  truth,  many 
widows  were  in  Israel  in  the  days  of  Elias,  when  the 
heaven  was  shut  up  three  years  and  six  months,  when 
great  famine  was  throughout  all  the  land  ;  but  unto 
none  of  them  was  Elias  sent,  save  unto  Sarepta,  a 
city  of  Sidon,  unto  a  woman  that  was  a  widow.  And 
many  lepers  were  in  Israel  in  the  time  of  Eliseus  the 
prophet,  and  none  of  them  was  cleansed,  saving 
Naaman  the  Syrian.  And  all  they  in  the  synagogue, 
when  they  heard  these  things,  were  filled  with  wrath." 

John  X.  26:  "  But  ye  believe  not,  because  ye  are  not 
of  my  sheep,  as  I  said  unto  you." 

John  xii.  37-40:  "But  though  he  had  done  so  many 
miracles  before  them,  yet  they  believed  not  on  him  : 
that  the  saying  of  Esaias  the  prophet  miglit  be  ful- 
filled, which  he  spake.  Lord,  wli^o  hath  believed  our 
report?  and  to  whom  hath  the  arm  of  the  Lord  been 

172     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

revealed  ?  Therefore  they  coilld  not  believe,  because 
that  Esaias  said  again,  He  hath  blinded  their  eyes  and 
hardened  their  heart;  that  they  should  not  see  with 
their  eyes,  nor  understand  with  their  heart,  and  be 
converted,  and  I  should  heal  them." 

John  xvii.  9:  "I  pray  not  for  the  world,  but  foi 
them  which  thou  hast  given  me;  for  they  are  thine." 

Acts  xxviii.  25,  26:  ''And  when  they  agreed  not 
among  themselves,  they  departed,  after  that  Paul  had 
spoken  one  word.  Well  spake  the  Holy  Ghost  by 
Esaias  the  prophet  unto  our  fathers,  saying,  Go  unto 
this  people  and  say,  Hearing  ye  shall  hear,  and  shall 
not  understand;  and  seeing  ye  shall  see  and  not  per- 
ceive, etc." 

Rom.  ix.  13:  "Jacob  have  I  loved,  but  Esau  have 
I  hated." 

Rom.  ix.  17,  18,  21,  22:  "For  the  Scripture  saith 
unto  Pharaoh,  Even  for  this  same  purpose  have  I 
raised  thee  up,  that  I  might  shew  my  power  in  thee, 
and  that  my  name  might  be  declared  throughout  all 
the  earth.  Therefore  hath  he  mercy  on  whom  he 
will  have  mercy,  and  whom  he  will  he  hardeneth  .  .  . 
Hath  not  the  potter  power  over  the  clay,  of  the  same 
lump  to  make  one  vessel  unto  honor,  and  another 
unto  dishonor?  what,  if  God,  willing  to  shew  his 
wrath,  and  to  make  his  power  known,  endured  with 
much  long  suffering  the  vessels  of  wrath  fitted  to 

Rom.  xi.  7-10:  "What  then?  Israel  hath  not  ob- 
tained that  which  he  seeketh  for;  but  the  election 
hath  obtained  it,  and  the  rest  were  blinded  (according 
as  it  is  written,  Go4  hath  given  them  the  spirit  of 
slumber,  eyes  that  they  should  not  see,  and  ears  that 

Reprobation  Stated  and  Proved.  173 

they  should  not  hear;)  unto  this  day.  And  David 
saith,  Let  their  table  be  made  a  snare,  and  a  trap,  and 
a  stumbling-block,  and  a  recompence  unto  them:  let 
their  eyes  be  darkened  that  they  may  not  see,  and 
bow  down  their  back  alway. " 

2  Tim.  ii.  17-20  :  ''  And  their  word  will  eat  as  doth 
a  canker:  of  whom  is  Hymeneus  and  Philetus;  who 
concerning  the  truth  have  erred,  saying  that  the  res- 
urrection is  past  already;  and  overthrow  the  faith  of 
some.  Nevertheless  the  foundation  of  God  standeth 
sure,  having  this  seal,  The  Lord  knoweth  them  that 
are  his.  And,  Let  every  one  that  nameth  the  name 
of  Christ  depart  from  iniquity.  But  in  a  great  house 
there  are  not  only  vessels  of  gold  and  of  silver,  but 
also  of  wood  and  of  earth;  and  some  to  honor,  and 
some  to  dishonor." 

I  Thess.  V.  9  :  "  For  God  hath  not  appointed  us  to 
wrath,  but  to  obtain  salvation  by  our  Lord  Jesus 
Christ."  The  necessary  implication  is,  that  God  has 
appointed  some  to  wrath. 

1  Pet.  ii.  8:  ''And  a  stone  of  stumbling,  and  a 
rock  of  offence,  even  to  them  which  stumble  at  the 
word,  being  disobedient :  whereunto  also  they  were 

2  Pet.  ii.  3 :  "  And  through  covetousness  shall  they 
with  feigned  words  make  merchandise  of  you  :  whose 
judgment  now  of  a  long  time  lingereth  not,  and  their 
damnation  slumbereth  not." 

Jude,  4:  "For  there  are  certain  men  crept  in  un- 
awares, who  were  before  of  old  ordained  to  this  con- 
demnation, ungodly  men,  turning  the  grace  of  our 
God  into  lasciviousness,  and  denying  the  only  Lord 
God,  and  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ." 

174     Calvinism,  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

Such  are  the  proofs  of  the  doctrine  of  reprobation 
which  are  derived  from  the  Word  of  God,  and  they 
are  too  solid  to  be  shaken  by  appeals  to  hnman  senti- 
ment, or  even  to  human  reason.  It  is  admitted  that 
the  chief  weight  of  the  argument  consists  in  the 
scriptural  evidence  in  favor  of  unconditional  election. 
That  being  proved,  reprobation  cannot  be  denied. 
The  two  doctrines  stand  or  fall  together.  They  are 
opposite  sides  of  the  same  truth — two  hemispheres  of 
the  same  globe,  one  bright  with  the  light  of  the 
divine  love  and  of  the  beauty  of  holiness,  the  other 
dark  with  the  judicial  frown  of  God  and  the  dreadful 
deformity  of  sin.  But  while  this  is  true,  the  addi- 
tional evidence  furnished  by  the  direct  testimony  of 
the  Scriptures  which  have  been  cited  is  also  conclu- 
sive. Some  of  the  passages  quoted  have,  of  course, 
been  strenuously  contested.  The  most  prominent  are 
I  Pet.  ii.  8,  and  Jude,  4.  But  it  must  be  conceded 
that  the  word  in  the  former  passage  translated  "ap- 
pointed "  {krkQrjaav)  has  in  it  the  force  of  purpose  ;  and 
while  the  same  thing  is  not  as  apparently  true  of  the 
word  in  the  latter  passage  rendered  "  before  ordained  " 
(Trpoyeypafxfievoi)^  yet  the  Same  scusc  is  Substantially  con- 
veyed. For,  if  that  disputed  word  be  literally  trans- 
lated "before  written,"  it  would  have  to  be  confessed 
that  the  written  assignment  beforehand  of  these  un- 
godly men  to  condemnation  was  but  a  revelation  of 
God's  judicial  purpose.  It  will  not  do  to  say  that 
only  God's  foreknowledge  of  the  doom  of  these  wicked 
men  was  expressed,  for  the  obvious  reason  that  no 
man  can  be  doomed,  except  God  dooms  him,  and  that 
necessarily  involves  an  eternal  purpose  ;  unless  the 
preposterous  ground  could  be  maintained  that  God's 

Rcprobdluni  Slalcd  and  Proiwi. 

I  .■) 

purpose  to  condemn,  like  li'is  actual  sentence  of  con- 
demnation, has  no  existence  nntil  the  crime  meritin<^ 
condemnation  shall  have  been  committed.  Further, 
to  represent  the  Calvinist  as  holding  that  God  dooms 
men  to  sin,  as  well  as  to  condemnation  for  their  sin, 
and  in  order  to  that  condemnation,  is  to  misrepresent 

It  is  not  deemed  necessary  to  develop  at  large  the 
proofs  of  the  doctrine,  particularly  as  it  will  fall  to 
be  considered  in  connection  with  the  objections  which 
will  hereafter  be  examined.  A  few  words  are  added, 
expounding  the  nature  of  the  doctrine  and  guarding 
it  against  misconception. 

The  Calvinistic  doctrine  is  not  that  God  decreed  to 
make  men  sinners.  "Our  Standards,"  says  Dr. 
Thornwell,  the  late  able  Professor  of  Systematic  The- 
ology in  one  of  the  Seminaries  of  the  Southern  Pres- 
byterian Church,  "afford  no  sort  of  shelter  to  the 
Hopkinsian  error,  that  the  decree  of  reprobation  con- 
sists in  God's  determining  to  fit  a  certain  number  of 
mankind  for  eternal  damnation,  and  that  the  divine 
agency  is  as  positively  employed  in  men's  bad  voli- 
tions and  actions  as  in  their  good."'  God  in  eternity 
conceived  the  human  race  as  fallen  into  sin  by  its  own 
free  and  avoidable  self-decision.  So  conceiving  it,  he 
decreed  judicially  to  condemn  the  whole  race  for  its 
sin.  We  have  seen  that  the  teaching  of  Scripture  is, 
that  out  of  his  mere  mercy,  and  according  to  the  good 
pleasure  of  his  sovereign  will,  he  decreed  to  save  some 
of  the  fallen  and  sinful  mass  w^ho  were  thus  contem- 
plated as  justly  condemned.  That  is  Election.  The 
rest,  consequently,  were  not  elected  to  be  saved,  but 

^  Coll.  Writings,  vol.  ii.  p.  143. 

176     CalvinisiJi  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

were  passed  by  and  ordained  to  continue  under  just 
condemnation.  That  is  Reprobation.  There  are  two 
elements  which  it  involves  :  first,  a  sovereign  act  of 
God,  by  which  they  were  in  his  purpose  passed  by 
and  left  in  the  condition  in  which  they  were  regarded 
as  placing  themselves.  That  is  called  Preterition. 
Secondly,  there  is  a  judicial  act  of  God,  by  which 
they  were  in  his  purpose  ordained  to  continue  under 
the  sentence  of  the  broken  law  and  to  suffer  punish- 
ment for  their  sin.  That  is  called  Condemnation. 
Principal  William  Cunningham,  the  late  distinguished 
Professor  of  Historical  Theology  in  the  PVee  Church 
of  Scotland,  who,  as  a  Comparative  Theologian  of 
the  first  eminence,  ought  to  have  known  what  he  was 
talking  about,  thus  clearly  explains  the  doctrine  : 
*'In  stating  and  discussing  the  question  with  respect 
to  reprobation,  Calvinists  are  careful  to  distinguish 
between  the  two  different  acts  formerly  referred  to, 
decreed  or  resolved  upon  by  God  from  eternity,  and 
executed  by  him  in  time, — the  one  negative  and  the 
other  positive, — the  one  sovereign  and  the  other  ju- 
dicial. The  first,  which  they  call  non-election,  prete- 
rition, or  passing  by,  is  simply  decreeing  to  leave — 
and,  in  consequence,  leaving — men  in  their  natural 
state  of  sin :  to  withhold  from  them,  or  to  abstain 
from  conferring  upon  them,  those  special,  supernat- 
ural, gracious  influences,  which  are  necessary  to  en- 
able them  to  repent  and  believe  ;  so  that  the  result  is, 
that  they  continue  in  their  sin,  with  the  guilt  of  their 
transgression  upon  their  head.  The  second — the  posi- 
tive, judicial — act  is  more  properly  that  which  is 
called,  in  our  Confession,  'fore-ordaining  to  everlast- 
ing  death,'   and    'ordaining   those  who    have   been 

Reprobation  Stated  ajid  Proved.  177 

passed  by  to  dishonor  and  wrath  for  their  sin.'  God 
ordains  none  to  wrath  or  pnnishment,  except  on  ac- 
count of  their  sin,  and  makes  no  decree  to  subject 
them  to  punishment  which  is  not  founded  on,  and  has 
reference  to,  their  sin,  as  a  thing  certain  and  contem- 
plated. But  the  first,  or  negative,  act  of  pretention, 
or  passing  by,  is  not  founded  upon  their  sin,  and  per- 
severance in  it,  as  foreseen."^ 

This  is  the  decreium  horribile — an  expression  of 
Calvin  concerning  which  endless  changes  have  been 
rung.  It  is  a  decree,  not  horrible  in  the  sense  of 
being  too  bad  to  be  believed,  but  of  being  terrible  to 
the  wicked  and  awful  even  to  the  pious.  It  is  indeed 
suited  to  appal  the  stoutest  heart  and  blanch  the 
boldest  face.  It  reveals  more  strongly  than  anything 
else,  except  the  Cross  on  which  Jesus  bled  and  died, 
God's  infinite  abhorrence  of  Sin— the  opposite  of  his 
nature,  the  menace  of  his  government,  the  dynamite 
of  the  universe.  And  it  is  enough  to  fill  us  with  hor- 
ror of  sin  to  know,  that  even  infinite  mercy  has  res- 
cued not  one  of  the  fallen  angels  from  their  doom, 
and  only  some  of  our  guilty  and  ruined  race  from  the 
everlasting  damnation  which  is  its  due. 

^  Hist.  Theology,  vol.  ii.  pp.  429.  430- 




I  NOW  proceed  to  consider  the  objections  which  are 
urged  against  the  Calvinistic  doctrines  of  election  and 
reprobation.  They  are  mainly  derived  from  two 
sources — the  moral  attributes  of  God,  and  the  moral 
agency  of  man.  Before  these  objections  are  specially 
examined  a  few  things  must  be  premised. 

First,  the  question  of  the  divine  decrees  in  relation 
to  the  everlasting  destinies  of  men  is  one  which,  as  it 
is  raised  by  God's  supernatural  revelation  of  his  wall 
in  his  Word,  must  be  settled  by  its  authority.  Reason 
in  its  original  integrity — right  reason,  which  was  a 
part  of  God's -first  revelation  of  himself  to  man — was 
entitled  to  speak  concerning  the  general  plan  of  the 
divine  government,  and  to  deduce  inferences  from  it 
in  regard  to  God's  eternal  purposes  as  thus  manifested. 
But  sin  has  occurred;  and  the  question  of  a  possible 
recovery  from  its  retributive  results  reason  could  have 
no  means  of  determining.  Upon  that  question  only 
a  new  and  supernatural  revelation  could  throw  any 
trustworthy  light.  This  would  have  been  true  had 
reason  itself  retained  its  original  purity.     But  it  has 


Preliminary  Remarks.  179 

not.  The  faculty  which  presumes  to  sit  in  judgment 
upon  the  awful  problem  of  sin,  and  its  relation  to  the 
divine  government,  has  itself  been  seriously  affected 
by  the  moral  revolution  which  has  taken  place.  It  is 
therefore  doubly  incompetent  to  assume  the  functions 
of  a  judge. 

True,  reason  circumstanced  as  it  now  is,  has  a 
legitimate  office  to  discharge  in  judging  of  the  claims 
of  a  revelation  professing  to  come  from  God.  But 
that  preliminary  office  having  been  performed,  and 
the  conclusion  having  been  reached,  that  the  Bible  is 
a  revelation  from  God,  the  duty  of  reason  is  to  submit 
to  the  divine  authority  involved  in  that  expression  of 
his  will.  Hence  one  great  Protestant  canon  is,  that 
the  Bible  is  the  only  complete  and  ultimate  rule  of 
faith  and  practice.  It  alone,  in  spirit^ial  matters, 
infallibly  teaches  us  what  we  are  to  believe,  and  what 
we  are  to  do. 

But,  as  this  supreme  rule  has  to  be  interpreted, 
another  great  canon,  co-ordinate  with  the  first,  is  that 
the  Holy  Spirit,  speaking  in  the  Scriptures,  is  the 
supreme  Judge  of  controversies  in  religion.  The 
supreme  rule  is  the  Scriptures;  the  Supreme  Judge  of 
the  meaning  of  the  rule  is  the  Holy  Ghost  speaking 
in  the  Scriptures — this  is  the  watchword  of  Protest- 

Now,  in  the  controversy  between  Calvinists  and 
Arminians  touching  the  decrees  of  God  in  relation  to 
the  destinies  of  men,  both  parties  admit  the  canons 
which  have  been  noticed.  It  is  clear,  then,  that  both 
parties  to  the  issue  are  under  obligation  not  to  judge 
the  infallible  Scriptures  by  f^illible  reason — not  to 
subordinate  the  supreme  rule  to  a  lower,  and  the  su- 

i8o     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism, 


preme  Judge  to  an  inferior.  Appeals  are  competent 
from  the  court  of  reason;  but  the  court  of  last  resort, 
from  which  no  appeal  can  lie,  is  the  Scriptures  illu- 
minated and  interpreted  by  the  Holy  Ghost.  This 
is,  on  both  sides,  acknowledged. 

The  argument,  then,  is  one  founded  on  Scripture, 
and  it  may  be  fairly  claimed  that  the  doctrines  of 
election  and  reprobation  have,  in  the  conduct  of  this 
discussion,  been  made  to  rest  upon  scriptural  proofs. 
If  so,  no  merely  rational  objections  can  be  validly 
urged  against  them. 
I  Secondly,  the  fact  deserves  to  be  noted  that,  in  the 
I  prosecution  of  this  controversy,  the  arguments  of 
j  Arminian  writers  have  been  chiefly  grounded  in  ra- 
^  tional  considerations,  and  not  in  the  direct  testimonies 
of  Scripture.  When  the  Calvinist  shows  from  the 
express  declarations  of  the  divine  Word  that  God 
from  eternity  elected  some  of  the  human  race  to  sal- 
vation, the  Arminian  is  unable  to  adduce  such  posi- 
tive statements  to  prove  that  he  did  not.  His  argu- 
ments are  drawn,  in  -the  main,  from  general  princi- 
ples announced  in  the  Scriptures,  and  from  what  are 
supposed  to  be  fundamental  intuitions  of  the  human 
mind.  Now  it  is  evident  that  this  sort  of  reasoning, 
in  relation  to  doctrines  of  a  purely  supernatural  char- 
acter, cannot  be  of  equal  value  with  direct  appeals  to 
the  explicit  deliverances  of  Scripture.  Ignorance 
and  an  evil  heart  of  unbelief  are  prolific  sources  of 
error  in  regard  to  the  mysterious  truths  of  a  supernat- 
ural revelation. 

In  the  first  place,  we  are  ignorant  of  God's  nature 
as  it  is  in  itself,  and  of  the  vast  and  comprehensive 
scheme  of  his  moral   Liovernment  as  a  whole.     The 

Preliminary  Remarks.  i8i 

analogy  of  our  own  nature,  and  the  limited  observa- 
tion to  which  we  can  attain  of  the  procedures  of  di- 
vine providence,  are  utterly  insufficient  guides  to  the 
understanding  of  such  supernatural  truths  as  the 
election  and  condemnation  of  human  beings. 

In  the  second  place,  our  ignorance  is  often  mani- 
fested in  wrong  inferences  from  admitted  principles. 
It  is  obvious  that  the  danger  arising  from  this  source 
is  much  greater  when  we  deduce  our  inferences  from 
o-eneral  statements,  than  when  we  draw  them  from 
definite  declarations  made  in  the  professed  delivery  or 
elucidation  of  particular  truths. 

In  the  third  place,  an  evil  heart  of  unbelief  inclines 
us  to  refuse  submission  to  God's  authority,  and  to  re- 
ject doctrines  which  are  plainly  revealed.  Of  this 
danger  the  teachers  of  religion  in  our  Saviour's  day 
furnished  eminent  examples.  We  tend  to  accept  tra- 
dition, precedents,  wi'despread  opinions  and  the  ap- 
parently instinctive  judgments  of  reason,  rather  than 
the  authoritative  statements  which  miraculous  cre- 
dentials prove  to  come  directly  from  God  himself. 
The  docile  and  trusting  temper  of  little  children  be- 
comes us  in  dealing  with  the  oracles  of  God. 

In  the  fourth  place,  under  the  operation  of  the  same 
causes  men  are  prone  to  assert  for  the  natural  reason 
the  prerogative  of  final  judgment  upon  the  contents 
of  supernatural  revelation.  They  appeal  to  the  in- 
tuitive judgments  of  their  souls  as  a  higher  law — 
superior  to  the  Bible  itself.  The  danger  of  mistake 
just  here  is  great  and  imminent.  The  Bible  does  not 
contradict  any  true  intuition,  intellectual  or  moral,  of 
our  being.  It  must  harmonize  with  our  fundamental 
laws  of  belief  and  our  fundamental  laws  of  rectitude, 

1 82     Calvinism  and  Eva?t^elical  Arminianisni 

for  its  Author  is  theirs.  When  a  conflict  seems  to 
emerge  between  it  and  them,  we  may  be  sure  that 
we  have  mistaken  false  laws  for  true,  embraced  a 
cloud  for  a  divinity.  There  is  peril  of  grievous  blun- 
dering when  we  bring  the  Bible  to  the  bar  of  our 

Thirdly,  Arminian  writers  are  in  the  habit  of  dwell- 
ing at  much  greater  length  upon  the  difficulties  of 
reprobation  than  upon  those  of  election.  Reproba- 
tion, they  argue,  is  but  an  inference  from  election, 
and  in  disproving  the  consequence  they  claim  to  dis- 
prove that  from  which  it  is  derived.  This  was  the 
course  pursued  by  the  Remonstrant  divines  at  the 
Synod  of  Dort,  and  when  the  Synod  objected  to  it  as 
illegitimate  they  complained  of  the  decision  as  a 
grievance.  This  is  certainly  unfair.  The  doctrine 
of  election  is  much  more  definitely,  fully  and  clearly 
delivered  in  Scripture  than  that  of  reprobation,  and 
therefore  it  should  be  made  the  first  and  principal 
topic  of  discussion.  The  Arminians,  moreover,  over- 
look the  fact  that  Calvinists  do  not  hold  reprobation 
to  be  merely  an  inference  from  election.  They  main- 
tain that  it  is  also  supported  by  independent  testi- 
monies of  Scripture.  It  is  necessary  to  a  thorough- 
going apprehension  of  the  state  of  the  controversy 
that  attention  be  called  to  this  method  of  procedure 
on  the  part  of  Anti-Calvinists. 

Fourthly,   it  merits  notice,  in  view  of  the  fact  that 

1  ^Anti-Calvinists  conduct  their  argument  mainly  by 
('urging  objections  to  the  Calvinistic  position,  that 
"mere  objections  constitute  at  best  but  a  negative 
testimony  which  cannot  destroy  positive  evidence." 
The  same  course  of  argumentation  would,  if  success- 

Preliiniiiary  Remarks.  183 

fill,  upset  our  belief  ill  some  of  the  grandest  and  most 
essential  articles  of  the  Christian  scheme.  If  positive 
evidence  of  Scripture  is  to  be  sacrificed  to  objections 
and  difficulties  raised  by  the  natural  reason  or  tlie 
natural  feelings,  nothing  would  be  left  to  us  but  the 
dry  bones  of  Natural  Religion,  and  even  them  the 
Atheist  would  not  allow  to  rest  in  peace. 

It  is  not  intended  to  affirm  that  Arminians  offer  no 
testimony  upon  this  subject,  which  is  professedly 
drawn  from  Scripture.  But  the  direct  proofs,  as  has 
already  been  shown,  are,  as  proofs,  insignificant  both 
in  weight  and  in  number;  being  so  debatable  in  char- 
acter as  to  be  actually  adduced  on  the  Calvinistic  side, 
and  opposed,  as  they  are,  by  an  overwhelming  mass 
of  direct  proofs  in  favor  of  the  doctrines  in  question. 
The  quantity  of  direct  and  positive  evidence  is  cer- 
tainly against  the  Arminian.  He  furnishes,  it  is  true, 
abundance  of  indirect  proof,  derived  by  way  of  infer- 
ence from  doctrines  conceived  to  be  inconsistent  with 
those  of  election  and  reprobation.  In  view  of  this 
seeming  conflict  of  doctrines,  pains  have  been  taken 
in  the  previous  part  of  this  discussion  to  exhibit  the 
direct  and  positive  proofs  afforded  by  the  Scriptures  of 
the  doctrines  of  election  and  reprobation.  If  the 
Arminian  were  able  to  collect  an  equal  body  of  such 
proofs  in  favor  of  the  doctrines  that  God  efficiently 
wills  the  salvation  of  every  individual  man,  and  of  the 
doctrine  that  he  gave  his  Son  to  die  that  every  indi- 
vidual man  should  be  saved,  the  result  would  certainly 
be  that  the  Bible  would  contradict  itself,  and  conse- 
quently there  need  be  no  further  question  in  regard  to 
what  it  teaches.  But  if  the  direct  proofs  of  the 
Arminian  amount  to  no  more  than  the  establishment 

184    Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

of  the  doctrines  that  God,  iji  some  sense^  wills  the  sal- 
vation of  all  men,  and  that,  in  some  sense^  he  gave  his 
Son  to  die  for  all  men,  no  contradiction  emerges;  and 
the  sense,  in  which  the  statements  that  God  wills  the 
salvation  of  all  men  and  that  he  gave  his  Son  to  die 
for  all  men  are  to  be  taken,  must  be  adjusted  to  doc- 
trines which  are  positively  and  unequivocally  asserted 
in  the  divine  Word.  Doubtful  statements  must  be 
squared  with  unambiguous.  They  must  dress  by  the 

Fifthly,  it  is  unwarrantable  for  us,  limited  as  are 
i  our  faculties,  and  sinful  as  are  our  natures,  to  specu- 
1  late  as  to  what  God  ought  to  do  or  must  do  in  con- 
I  sistency  with  his  character.     It  becomes  us  rather  to 
hear  with  reverence  what,  in  his  Word,  he  says  he 
has  done  or  will  do.     Impressed  by  the  necessity  of 
the  direct  and  positive  testimony  of  Scripture,  which 
is  lacking  in  the  usual  argument  from  the  character 
of  God   against   the   Calvinistic   doctrine,   some   dis- 
tinguished   Anti-Calvinistic  writers,   such  as  Bishop 
Copleston  and  Archbishop  Whately,  virtually  aban- 
doned that  line  of  proof. 

Having  cited  attention  to  these  considerations 
which  lie  at  the  very  threshold  of  the  question  before 
us,  I  pass  to  the  examination  of  special  objections  to 
the  Calvinistic  doctrines  of  election  and  reprobation  ; 
and  the  first  class  we  encounter  is  derived  from  the 
Moral  Attributes  of  God. 


It  is  objected  that  these  doctrines  are  inconsistent 
with  the  justice  of  God. 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  185 

It  is  important  to  observe  that  this  objection  de- 
rived from  the  divine  jnstice  is  not  mainly  directed 
against  the  decree  to  elect  some  of  the  human  race  to 
salvation.  How  could  it?  What  has  justice  to  do 
with  election,  which  is  confessedly  the  result  of  grace? 
It  is  true  that  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  of  election  is 
charged  with  imputing  partiality  to  God  in  distin- 
o-uishincr  between  the  members  of  the  race,  so  as  to 
save  some  and  leave  others  to  perish.  But  the  objec- 
tion is  chiefly  leveled  against  the  decree  to  reprobate 
some  of  the  human  race.  It  is  especially  this  decree 
which  is  declared  to  be  in  conflict  with  justice.  Now 
let  us  recall  the  statement  of  the  Calvinistic  doctrine 
of  reprobation.  It  is  that  God  decreed  sovereignly  to 
pass  by — that  is,  not  to  elect  to  salvation — some  of 
the  guilty  and  condemned  mass  of  mankind,  and  ju- 
dicially to  continue  them  under  the  condemnation 
which,  by  their  sin,  they  were  conceived  in  the  divine 
mind  as  havinsf  deserved.  That  is  the  Calvinistic 
doctrine.  Is  it  against  this  doctrine  that  the  objec- 
jection  from  justice  is  urged?  It  is  not.  What,  then, 
is  the  doctrine,  as  stated  by  Arminian  writers,  against 
which  the  objection  is  pressed?  Let  us  hear  one  of 
them  who  at  the  present  day  holds  the  position  of  a 
representative  theologian.     He  says: 

'*By  unconditional  election  divines  of  this  class 
LCalvinists]  understand  an  election  of  persons  to  eter- 
nal life  without  respect  to  their  faith  or  obedience, 
those  qualities  in  them  being  supposed  necessarily  to 
follow  as  consequences  of  their  election;  by  uncondi- 
tional reprobation,  the  counterpart  of  the  former  doc- 
trine, is  meant  a  non-election  or  rejection  of  certain 
persons  from  eternal  salvation;  unbelief  and  disobe- 

i86     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism, 

dience    following   this  rejection  as    necessary   conse- 
qnences. "  ^ 

Let  these  statements  be  compared.  The  Calvinist 
says,  God  finds  men  already  disobedient  and  con- 
demned, and  leaves  some  of  them  in  the  condition  of 
disobedience  and  condemnation  to  which  by  their  own 
avoidable  act  they  had  reduced  themselves.  The  Ar- 
minian  represents  the  Calvinist  as  saying,  God  decrees 
to  reject  some  of  mankind  from  eternal  salvation,  and 
their  disobedience  follows  as  a  necessary  consequence. 
That  is  to  say,  if  the  language  mean  an\'thing,  God's 
decree  of  reprobation  causes  the  disobedience  of  some 
men,  and  then  dooms  them  to  eternal  punishment  for 
that  disobedience.  But  who  would  deny  that  to  be 
unjust?  That  is  not  what  the  Calvinistic  doctrine 
teaches.  No  section  of  the  Calvinistic  body  teaches 
it.  The  Calvinistic  Symbols  do  not.  The  Sublapsa- 
rian  theologians  do  not;  and  they  constitute  the  vast 
majority  of  Calvinists.  The  Symbols  and  these  the- 
ologians alike  hold  that  man  was  created  upright,  in 
the  image  of  God,  endowed  with  ample  ability  to  re- 
frain from  sinning,  and  that,  therefore,  he  fell  by  his 
own  free  self-decision.  Even  the  Supralapsarian  theo- 
logians do  not  unqualifiedly  teach  the  doctrine  here 
imputed  to  Calvinists.  To  a  man,  they  contend  that 
God  decreed  to  reprobate  some  of  mankind  "  for  their 
sin."  But  should  it  be  said  that  they,  in  taking  this 
position,  are  chargeable  with  inconsistency,  it  must 
be  remembered  that  the  body  of  Calvinists,  being 
Sublapsarian,  are  not  liable  to  the  same  charge.  It 
is  not,  therefore,  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  of  reproba- 

*  Watsou,  Theo.  Inst.,  Vol.  ii.  p.  326.     See  also  Wesley,  Sermon 
on  Predestination. 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice. 

tion  whicli  is  liable  to  the  criticism  of  being  in 
gruous  with  the  justice  of  God,  but  one  which  Calvin-    ^^ 
ists  would  unite  with  Arminians  in  condemning.   The 
arrow  misses  the  mark,  and  for  a  good  reason  :  it  was 
aimed  at  another.     This  is  the  first  blunder  in  the 
Arminian  statement  of  the  Calvinistic  position.     It  is         . 
represented  to  be  :  that  God  decreed  to  cause  the  first        / 
sin  of  man  and   then   decreed  to  doom  some  of  the 
fallen  race   to  destruction    for  its  commission.     The"! 
true  statement  is  :   that  God  decreed  to  permit  sin,  audi        j 
then  decreed  to  continue  some  of  the  race  under  the|     * 
condemnation   which    he   foreknew    they   would,   byi 
their  own  fault,  incur. 

The  second  blunder  in  the  Arminian  statement  of 
the  Calvinistic  position  is,  that  the  decrees  of  election 
and  reprobation  are  represented_as  being  equally  un-  / 
conditional.  They  are  said  to  correspond  in  this  re- 
spe^r  This  representation  is  only  partly  correct;  and 
how  far  it  is  correct  and  how  far  incorrect,  it  is  im- 
portant to  observe.  It  is  admitted  that  both  the 
decrees  of  election  and  reprobation  are  conditioned 
upon  the  divine  foreknowledge  of  the  Fall;  that  is  to 
say,  the  foreknowledge  of  the  Fall  is,  in  the  order  of  , 
thought,  pre-supposed  by  each  of  these  decrees.  This 
is  the  doctrine  of  the  Calvinistic  Confessions,  and 
even  of  Calvin  himself. '  But  the  question  before  us 
is,  whether  the  divine  foreknowledge  of  the  special 
acts  of  men,  done  after  the  Fall,  conditioned  these 
decrees.  It  has  already  been  shown  that  in  this 
regard  the  decree  of  election  is  unconditional.  It  is 
not  conditioned  bv  the  divine  foreknowledge  of  the 

on  Rom.  ix.  ii;  i  Pet.  i.  20. 

i88     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

faith,  good  works  and  perseverance  therein  of  the  in- 
dividnals  whom  God  wills  to  save.  The  qnestion 
being,  whether  the  decree  of  reprobation  is  also  un- 
conditional, a  distinction  must  be  taken.  The  pre- 
terition — the  passing  by — of  some  of  the  fallen  mass, 
and  leaving  them  in  their  sin  and  ruin,  is  uncon- 
f  ditional.  It  is  not  conditioned  by  the  divine  fore- 
knowledge of  their  special  sins,  rendering  them  more 
I  ill-deserving  than  those  whom  God  is  pleased  to  elect. 
So  far  reprobation  is  unconditional.  In  this  regard, 
it  is,  like  election,  grounded  in  the  good  pleasure  of 
God's  sovereign  will.  But  the  judicial  condemnation 
— the  continuing  under  the  sentence  of  the  broken 
law — of  the  non-elect,  is  conditional.  It  is  condi- 
tioned by  the  divine  foreknowledge  of  the  first  sin 
and  of  all  actual  transgressions,  the  special  sins  which 
spring  from  the  principle  of  original  corruption.  In 
this  respect,  and  to  this  extent,  the  decrees  of  election 
and  reprobation  are  different,  the  one  being  uncondi- 
tional, the  other  conditional.  To  say,  then,  that  they 
are  entirely  alike  in  being  both  unconditional  is  to 
misrepresent  the  Calvinistic  position.  This  exposition 
is  supported  by  the  following  statement  of  Principal 
Cunningham:  "The  second — the  positive,  judicial 
act — is  more  properly  that  which  is  called,  in  our 
Confession,  'foreordaining  to  everlasting  death,'  and 
'ordaining  those  who  have  been  passed  by  to  dishonor 
and  wrath  for  their  sin.'  God  ordains  none  to  wrath 
or  punishment,  except  on  account  of  their  sin,  and 
makes  no  decree  to  subject  them  to  punishment  which 
is  not  founded  on,  and  has  reference  to,  their  sin,  as  a 
thing  certain  and  contemplated.  But  the  first,  or 
negative,    act   of  pretention,   or   passing   by,   is   not 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  189 

founded  upon  their  sin,  and  perseverance  in  it  as  fore- 
seen." ^ 

The  third  blunder  in  the  Arminian  statement  of 
the  Calvinistic  position  is,  that  the  decrees  of  election 
and  reprobation  are  alike  in  being  causes  from  which 
human  acts  proceed  as  effects;  the  former  being  the 
cause  of  holy  acts  in  those  who  are  to  be  saved,  the 
latter,  of  sinful  acts  in  those  who  are  to  be  lost.  Af- 
ter what  has  already  been  said  there  is  little  need  to 
dwell  npon  the  defectiveness  of  this  statement.  A 
sinner  is  destitute  of  any  principle  of  holiness  from 
which  holy  acts  could  spring.  The  efficiency  of  grace 
is  a  necessity  to  the  production  of  holiness  in  his 
case.  But  the  principle  of  depravity  in  a  sinner's 
nature  is  itself  a  cause  of  sinful  acts.  Unless,  there- 
fore, the  Calvinistic  doctrine  could  be  fairly  charged 
with  teaching  that  God  causes  the  sinful  principle,  it 
cannot  be  held  to  teach  that  he  causes  the  sinful  acts 
which  it  naturally  produces.  On  the  contrary,  it 
maintains  that  the  principle  of  sin  in  the  nature  of 
man  is  self-originated.  Its  consequences  are  obviously 
referred  to  the  same  origin:  all  sin,  original  and  ac- 
tual is  affirmed  to  be  caused  by  man  himself  God, 
in  reprobating  the  sinner  for  his  sins,  cannot  be  said 
to  cause  his  sins. 

But  it  will  be  replied  that  the  difficulty  is  not  en- 
tirely removed;  for  reprobation  supposes  that  God 
withholds  from  the  sinner  the  efficiency  of  grace  by 
which  alone  he  could  produce  holy  acts,  and  so  is 
represented  as  causing  the  absence  of  those  acts  and 
the  commission  of  sinful.  The  rejoinder  is  plain:  the 
assertion  of  a  correspondence  between  the  two  decrees 

^  Hist.  Ttieol.,  Vol.  ii.  p.  430. 

190     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

in  regard  to  causal  efficiency  operating  upon  the  sin- 
ner is  given  up.  The  only  similarity  remaining  is 
one  between  election  as  directly  and  positively  caus- 
ing holy  acts  and  reprobation  as  indirectly  and  nega- 
tively occasioning  sinful.  This  amounts  to  a  relin- 
quishment of  the  analogy  affirmed  to  obtain  between 
them,  and  the  preferment  of  a  separate  charge  against 
•  the  justice  of  reprobation:  namely,  that  God  is  un- 
just in  withholding  from  some  sinners  the  efficient 
grace  which  he  is  said  to  impart  to  others.  But  if  all 
men  are  sinners  by  their  own  free  self-decision  and, 
therefore,  by  their  own  fault,  there  would  have  been 
no  injustice  had  God  withheld  his  grace  from  all. 
Consequently  there  could  have  been  no  injustice  in 
withholding  it  from  some.  What  is  true  of  all  must 
be  true  of  some.  This  point  will  meet  further  con- 
sideration as  the  discussion  advances. 

It  is  clear,  in  view  of  what  has  been  said,  that  the 
implication  contained  in  the  fore-cited  Arminian 
statement  of  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  of  reprobation  is 
far  from  being  correct — namely,  that  God,  by  virtue 
of  that  decree,  causes  the  sins  of  the  non-elect  in  the 
same  way  as,  by  virtue  of  the  decree  of  election,  he 
causes  the  faith  and  good  works  of  the  elect.  In  the 
decree  of  election  he  ordains  men  to  salvation  not  be- 
cause of  their  obedience,  but  of  his  mere  mercy,  ac- 
cording to  the  counsel  of  his  sovereign  will;  while,  in 
the  decree  of  reprobation,  he  judicially,  that  is,  in 
accordance  with  the  requirement  of  his  justice,  ordains 
men  to  punishment  because  of  their  self-elected  diso- 

The  Calvinistic  doctrine  having  thus  been  cleared 
of  mis-conception  and  mis-statement,  we  are  prepared 

Objection  from  Divutc  Justice.  191 

for  the  real  state  of  the  question.  It  is  this :  Was 
God  just  ill  eternally  decreeing  to  punish  transgressors 
of  his  law  for  their  wilful  violation  of  it?  This  bein<r 
the  real  question,  what  answer  but  one  can  be  given  ? 
Has  not  God,  the  righteous  Governor  of  the  world,  a 
right  to  exercise  his  justice  upon  voluntary  sinners? 
And  if  he  has,  was  he  unrighteous  in  eternally  de- 
creeing to  exercise  his  justice  upon  them?  The  ar- 
gument is  not  with  those  who  deny  the  existence  of 
retributive  justice  in  God,  but  with  those  who  admit 
it,  and  justify  its  exercise  upon  the  wicked.  How, 
then,  can  they  pronounce  a  doctrine  inconsistent  with 
the  divine  justice,  which  affirms  that  God  decreed  to 
reprobate  men  for  their  sin?  We  may  well  ask  with 
Paul,  "Is  God  unrighteous  who  taketh  vengeance?" 
Is  the  Judge  of  all  the  earth  unjust  in  inflicting  punish- 
ment upon  reckless  and  inexcusable  revolters  against 
his  government  and  violators  of  his  law?  It  is  evi- 
dent that  this  cannot  be  the  doctrine  against  which 
the  objection  under  consideration  is  urged.  It  cannot 
be  consistently  advanced  against  this  doctrine  by  the 
Arminian,  for  with  the  Calvinist  he  admits  the  justice 
of  God  in  punishing  wilful  sinners.  The  doctrine 
against  which  it  is  directed  is,  that  God  so  decreed  the 
sin  of  man  that  it  became  in  consequence  of  his  decree 
necessary  and  unavoidable,  and  then  decreed  to  punish 
man  for  what  he  could  not  avoid.  But,  as  has  been 
shown,  that  is  not  the  doctrine  which  is  held  by  the 
great  body  of  Calvinists  or  stated  in  the  Calvinistic 

A  special  form  of  the  objection  drawn  from  the  di- 
vine justice  against  the  Calvinistic  doctrines  of  elec- 
tion and  reprobation  is,  that  they  ascribe  partiality  to 

T92     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

God,  in  that  he  is  represented  as  discriminating  be- 
tween those  who  are  in  the  same  case,  by  decreeing  to 
save  some  and  to  reprobate  others.  The  objection  in 
this  form  is  at  least  relevant,  for  the  discrimination 
which  is  charged  the  Calvinist  admits  ;  bnt  he  denies 
that  the  discrimination  involves  partiality,  in  the 
sense  of  injnstice.  If  there  be  injnstice,  it  mnsf 
cither  be  to  the  divine  government,  or  to  the  elect,  or 
to  the  reprobate.  It  cannot  be  to  the  divine  govern- 
ment, for  the  elect  are  saved  through  the  merit  of 
Christ,  their  glorious  Substitute,  who  in  their  room 
rendered  perfect  satisfaction  to  the  divine  justice  for 
their  sins.  It  cannot  be  to  the  elect,  for  salvation 
cannot  possibly  inflict  injustice  upon  them.  It  can- 
not be  to  the  reprobate,  for  they  had  no  sort  of  claim 
to  the  divine  favor  which  was  refused.  They  pos- 
sessed no  right  of  which  they  were  defrauded.  The 
only  desert  they  had  was  of  punishment  for  their  sins. 
Where  then  is  the  injustice  which  was  inflicted  upon 
them?  Discrimination  there  was,  but  it  was  between 
those  who  were  all  equally  ill-deserving;  and  surely 
God  had  the  right  to  release  some  from  merited  pun- 
ishment, and  to  continue  others  under  its  infliction. 
Surely  he  had  the  right  to  exercise  his  mercy  toward 
some  and  his  justice  upon  others. 

It  might,  with  some  color  of  plausibility,  be  said 
that  God  was  not  good  in  saving  some  and  leaving 
others  to  perish,  but  how  it  can  be  pleaded  that  he 
was  unjust  passes  comprehension.  Let  it  be  clearly 
perceived  that  none  had  any,  the  least,  claim  upon 
the  divine  regard,  and  the  objection  of  unjust  par- 
tiality at  once  vanishes.  Let  it  be  seen  that  all  had 
brought    themselves   into   sin  and   condemnation  by 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  193 

their  own  free  and  nnnecessitated  decision,  and  it 
nmst  be  granted  that  the  glorification  of  his  mercy  in 
the  salvation  of  some,  and  of  his  jnstice  in  the  pun- 
ishment of  others,  were  ends  which  were  worthy  of 
God.  They  were  all,  as  criminals,  prisoners  in  the 
hands  of  jnstice.  God,  as  the  supreme  Sovereign 
pleases  to  exercise  clemency  towards  some  of  them, 
and,  as  supreme  Judge,  continues  to  exercise  justice 
upon  others,  for  the  purpose  of  glorifying  both  his 
grace  and  his  justice  in  the  eyes  of  the  universe.  The 
execution  of  justice  upon  criminals  is  always  dreadful; 
it  can  never  be  unjust.  No  temper  but  that  of  squeam- 
ish sentimentality,  or  of  captious  insubordination  to 
the  righteous  measures  of  government,  can  detect  in- 
justice in  such  a  procedure.  One  would  suppose  that 
instead  of  objecting  to  the  justice  of  God  in  the  pun- 
ishment of  his  fellow-criminals,  he  who  has  been  dis- 
charged by  unmerited  favor  from  his  deserved  share 
in  their  doom  would  spend  time  and  eternity  in  thank- 
ful acknowledgments  of  tliat  grace.  That  wicked 
men  object  to  the  justice  of  their  own  punishment  is 
no  matter  of  wonder;  that  pious  men  object  to  the 
justice  of  God  in  punishing  the  wicked,  even  though 
he  might  save  them,  is  a  fact  which  can  only  be 
accounted  for  on  the  ground  that  there  is  a  wrong 
application  of  a  true  principle,  as  a  standard  of 
judgment  in  the  case.  Arminians  and  other  Anti- 
Calvinists  object  to  the  Calvinist  doctrine  of  reproba- 
tion because,  as  they  contend,  it  involves  this  mon- 
strous assumption  :  that  God  judicially  condemns  to 
everlasting  punishment  those  whose  sin  was  unavoid- 
able and  was  therefore  no  fault  of  their  own.  God 
is  represented  as  magnifying  his  justice  in  the  punish- 

194      Calvi/tism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

ment  of  the  innocent.  How  do  they  support  this 
objection  ? 

They  lay  it  down  as  a  fundamental  principle,  that 
ability  is  always  the  condition  a  ltd  measure  of  obliga- 
tion. No  one  can  justly  be  required,  under  any  cir- 
cumstances, to  do  what  he  is  unable  to  do.  Ability 
to  do  must  be  equal  to  the  commanded  duty.  This 
principle,  in  itself  true,  is  universally  applied,  and 
consequently  in  some  cases  wrongly  applied.  It  is 
applied  to  man  in  his  present  fallen  and  sinful  condi- 
tion as  well  as  to  man  in  his  oris^inal  and  unfallen  and 
sinless  estate.  The  Calvinist  maintains  that  men  are 
now,  in  consequence  of  the  Fall,  and  as  unregenerate, 
in  a  condition  of  spiritual  inability.  They  are  not 
able  to  furnish  acceptable  obedience  to  the  moral  law, 
and  they  are  likewise  unable  to  comply  with  the  re- 
quirements of  the  gospel.  Now  in  what  way  did  they 
come  to  be  thus  disabled  ?  If  by  their  own  fault, 
their  inability  is  the  fruit  of  avoidable  sin,  and  is 
therefore  itself  a  sin.  But,  contends  the  Arminian, 
the  Calvinist  holds  that  they  were  boni  thus  disabled ; 
and  if  so,  the  inability  was  contracted  by  no  fault  of 
their  own.  It  is  congenital  and  constitutional.  To 
condemn  them  for  not  doing  what  an  inability  so 
derived  disqualifies  them  for  doing  is  plainly  unjust. 
It  is  like  striking  a  corpse  for  a  death  which  the  living 
man  could  not  avoid.  This  is  the  cardinal  point  in 
the  question  now  at  issue,  and  to  it  especial  attention 
must  be  devoted. 

I.  The  Sublapsarian  Calvinist — and  he  is  the  true 
Calvinist — is  not  committed  to  the  support  of  either 
party  in  the  contest  between  the  Arminian  and  the 
Supralapsarian.      He  is  an  interested  spectator,  except 

Objection  from  Divine  Jtistice. 

when  his  own  position  is  endangered  by  assault, 
the  battle  advances  he    cries,   Strike  on,   Arminian  ! 
Wield  the  mighty  principle  that  God  is  not  the  author 
of  sin  :  that,  in  the  first  instance — the  instance  of  man 
in  innocence — ability  is  the  condition  and  measure  of 
obligation.      Again   he  shouts,    Strike  on,   Supralap- 
sarian  !     Wield  the  mighty  principle  that  in  the  second 
instance — the  instance  of   man  in  his  present  fallen 
state — ability    is    not   the  condition  and    measure  of 
obligation  :  that  man's  present  inability  is  his  own  sin 
and  crime,   for  which   God   justly  condemns  him  to 
punishment.     That,  at  the  origin  of  the  human  race 
in  innocence,  ability  conditioned  and  measured  obli- 
gation, is  not  a  distinctive  tenet  of  Arminianism;  it 
is  the  doctrine  of  the  true  Church  Universal.     That, 
in  the  present  fallen  condition  of  the  race,  inability 
cannot  and  does  not  discharge  men  from  their  obliga- 
tion,  as    subjects   of    God's   government,    to   render 
obedience  to  all  his  requirements,  whether  legal  or 
evangelical, — this  is  not  a  peculiar  tenet   of  Supra- 
lapsarianism;  it  also  is  the  doctrine  of  the  true  Church 
Universal.     The   Arminian   adheres  to  the    faith    of 
that  Church,  so  far  as  man  in  innocence  is  concerned, 
and  breaks  with  it,  so  far  as  man  in  his  fallen,   unre- 
generate    state    is    concerned.     The    Supralapsarian 
departs  from  it  as  to  man  in  innocence  and  cleaves  to 
it  as  to  fallen,  unregenerate  man.      Both  are  right  and 
both  are  wrong.      The  Calvinist  holds  the  faith  of  the 
true  Cliurch  in  its  integrity. 

2.  The  difficulty  of  reconciling  congenital  inability 
with  the  justice  of  God  in  condemning  men  to  pun- 
ishment presses  upon  the  Evangelical  Arminian  as 
well  as  upon  the  Calvinist.     The  former  holds  that 

ig6     Calvinism  ajid  Evangelical  Aruiinianism. 

men  are  born  nnder  gnilt  and  in  depravity.  Conse- 
quently he  must  hold,  and  in  fact  does  hold,  that  they 
are  born  in  a  condition  of  spiritual  inability.^  It  is 
true  that  Dr.  Pope  speaks  of  an  "unindividualized" 
human  nature  which  before  the  birth  of  individuals 
is,  through  the  virtue  of  Christ's  atonement,  freed 
from  the  guilt  of  Adam's  sin  and  endued  with  a 
measure  of  spiritual  life,  and  implies  that  were  it  not 
for  this  redemptive  provision  individuals  would  be 
born  in  spiritual  death.  But  at  other  times  he  talks 
in  the  same  dialect  as  his  brethren,  and  admits  the 
Evangelical  doctrine  that  men  are  born  in  that  condi- 
tion. The  question  then  is,  how  the  Arminian  har- 
monizes this  fact  with  his  fundamental  principle  that 
ability  conditions  obligation  and  the  justice  of  God  in 
punishing  men  for  disobedience  to  his  requirements. 
In  this  way  :  he  holds  that  along  with  the  decree  to 
permit  the  Fall,  there  was,  conditioned  by  the  divine 
foreknowledge  that  it  would  occur,  the  decree  to  pro- 
vide redemption  from  its  consequences  for  all  mankind. 
Accordingly,  the  merit  of  the  universal  atonement 
offered  by  Christ  secured  for  all  men  the  removal  in 
infancy  of  the  guilt  of  Adam's  sin.  And,  further,  he 
holds  that  a  degree  of  spiritual  life  is  imparted  to 
every  man,  or,  as  it  is  sometimes  expressed,  a  part  of 
spiritual  death  is  removed,  and  thus  a  measure  of  free 
will  is  restored.  The  original  inability  thus  ceases  to 
be  total:  men  are  endowed  with  a  sufficient  ability  to 
comply  with  the  divine  requirements. 

'Articles  of  M.  E.  Church,  vii,  viii;  Wesle}^  Semis,  on  Orig. 
Sin,  New  Birth;  Treatise  on  Orig.  Sift,  et  passim;  Watson,  Theo. 
Inst.,  Vol.  ii,  p.  49  ;  Pope,  Comp.  Chris.  Theot.,  Vol.  ii,  p.  80.;  Ral- 
ston, Eleni.  Div.,  p.  141;  Raymond,  Syst.  TheoL,  Vol.  ii,  p.  83. 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  197 

(i.)  The  first  of  these  positions— namely,  that 
Adam's  guilt  is  by  virtue  of  the  atonement  removed 
from  every  infant,  is  opposed  by  insuperable  difficul- 

First,  the  fundamental  assumption,  that  the  atone- 
ment was  offered  for  every  individual  man,  cannot  be 
proved  from  the  Scriptures.     They  teach  that  Christ 
died  for  those  of  all  nations  and  classes  who  were,  in 
the   eternal  covenant,  given  to  him  by  the  Father  to 
be   redeemed.      But  as  no  value  will  be  attached  by 
the  Arminian  to  this  assertion,  let  it,  for  the  sake  of 
argument,  be  supposed  that  by  virtue  of  the   atone- 
ment the  guilt  of  Adam's  sin  is  removed  from  every 
infant.     What  follows?    As  an  infant,  he  has,  ex  hy- 
pothesi,  no   guilt  derived   from   Adam.      That   is   re- 
moved.     In    that   respect,    therefore,   he  is  innocent. 
But  as  an  infant  cannot  contract  guilt  by  conscious 
transgression,   he    is    also   in  that   respect   innocent. 
There  being  no  other  source  of  guilt,  he  is  entirely 
innocent.      Is  the  Evangelical  Arminian   prepared  to 
take  the  Pelagian  ground  that  infants  are  altogether 
innocent  ?     Further,  he  holds  that  infants  are  totally 
depraved  in  consequence  of  original  sin  residing  in 
them  as  a  principle.     That  he  does  not  declare  to  have 
been  removed  by  virtue  of  the  atonement.     We  have 
then  a  being  totally  innocent  and  totally  depraved,  at 
one   and  the   same  time.     Will  the  Evangelical  Ar- 
minian defend  that  paradox?    Further  still,  if  it  be 
said  that  total  depravity  is  the  result  of  development, 
and  is  consequently  predicable  only  of  the  adult,  the 
question  arises,  how  a  partial  depravity,  which  is  the 
principle  of  the  development,  can  consist  with  entire 
innocence.       The    difficultv    differs    from    the    other 

198     Calviiiism  and  Evangelical  Armitiianisin, 

merely  in  deQ^ree.  If  it  be  contended  that  the  infant 
is  both  entirely  innocent  and  entirely  undepraved,  the 
difficnlty  is  avoided,  but  others  equally  great  are  sub- 
stituted for  it.  For  such  a  position  would  contradict 
the  express  teachings  of  his  system  and  reduce  his 
doctrine  to  bald  Pelagianism,  And,  moreover,  it 
would  be  impossible  to  account  for  the  origin,  the 
initial  point  of  the  development  of  depravity.  There 
being  no  guilt  and  no  depravity  in  the  infant,  he  be- 
gins life  both  innocent  and  pure.  How  then  does  his 
depravity  begin?  Does  each  individual  fall  as  Adam 
did  ?  And  are  there  as  many  falls  as  there  are  individ- 
uals? Would  these  absurdities  be  admitted?  "We  do 
not,"  says  Dr.  Pope,  "assume  a  second  personal  fall 
in  the  case  of  each  individual  reaching  the  crisis  of 
responsibility."^  Well,  then,  each  individual  must 
begin  existence  depraved,  and  therefore  cannot  be  in- 
nocent. But  if  he  has  oruilt  it  must  be  Adam's  gfuilt 
imputed,  for  he  cannot  contract,  as  an  infant,  the 
guilt  of  personal,  conscious  transgression. 

There  are  two  methods  by  which  the  Arminian 
may  be  conceived  to  evade  the  force  of  this  difficulty. 
He  may  deny  that  depravity  is  sin.  He  may  say,  I 
admit  the  connate  depravity  of  the  infant,  but  as  I 
do  not  concede  that  depravity  is  of  the  nature  of  sin, 
I  am  not  exposed  to  the  pressure  of  this  difficulty. 
Innocence  may  not  consist  with  sin,  but  it  may  with 
depravity.  Lest  it  be  supposed  that  this  extraordinary 
hypothesis  has  been  conjured  up  for  the  sake  of  an 
ideal  completeness  of  the  argument,  let  us  hear  a  re- 
cent writer.  Dr.  C.  W.  IMiller.  Expressly  following 
Limborch  in  his  discussion  of  Original  Sin,  he  says: 
^  Comp.  Chris.  Theol.,  vol.  ii.  p.  59. 


Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  i99 

"  It  is  shown  that  the   '  inclination  to  sin  '  which  is  a 
part  of  the  fearful  heritage  received  from  Adam     is 
Lt  sin  properly  so   called.'     This  is  an  nni^rtant 
point"     "The   fundamental  truth  is  here  affirmed 
'that'there  is  no  corruption  in  children  which  is  truly 
and  properly  sin.'     This  cuts  the  tap- root  of  Augus- 
tinianism,  whose  main  postulate  is  that  in  ants  in- 
herit  a  moral  corruption  from  Adam  which  is  o    the    ^  . 
nature  of  sin,  and  deserves  eternal  death.  '    Speaking       _ 
p.relv  for  himself  he  further  savs :    "  The  confusion  V  .^ 
of  thought  in  Augustinianism  consists  in  confound- 
ing ««  and  depravity.  They  are  not  t'-  n-ther 
do  thev  have  anv  necessary  connection.  It  is  true 

that  man  'as  boni  after  the  Fall  possesses,  even  be- 
fore anv  volitional  act  of  his  own,  a  fallen  nature. 
But  that  this  '  fallen  nature '  is  a  '  sinful  state  un- 
righteous evil,  moral  evil,  sin,  sinfulness,'  [tl- J-oted 
language  being  taken  from  Whedon  on  the  Will]  is 
an  "^utter  absurdity.  A  'sinful ^nature  or  state  can 
be  produced  only  by  actual  sin."  ' 

In  the  first  place,  this  hypothesis  is  extravagantly 
paradoxical.     It  violates  the  meaning  ot   the  terms 
and  the  nsns  loquendi  oi  Christendom,  including    he 
Evan-elical    Arminian    bodies    themselves.      In   the 
second  place,  it  strips  a  confessed  inclination  to  sm  of 
all  sinful  quality.     In  the  third  place   it  denies  sin- 
fulness of  the  intense  selfishness  which  manifests  it- 
self in  children  before  they  can  intelligently  appreci- 
ate their  relation  to  the  moral  law.     In  the  fourth 
place,  it  places  every  infant  in  the  sinless  condition 
of  Adam  before  he  fejkj>mnoUia^extenUsj^^ 
-Z^j^T^^ii^Ur^fS^nturies.  W  "5,  n6,  >66,  .08:    Nashville, 
South.  ISIeth.  Pub.  House,  1884. 

200     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

Pelagian;  and  in  the  fifth  place,  it  makes  the  nniver- 
sal  allusion  of  theology  and  the  Church  to  the  Fall 
a  wretched  solecism,  since  there  would  be  as  many 
separate  falls  from  sinlessness  into  sin  as  there  have 
been,  are  and  will  be,  human  beings  on  earth.  One 
may  well  pause  here  and  notice,  in  this  conspicuous 
instance,  the  trend  of  contemporary  Arminian  specu- 
lation to  the  Semi-Pelagianism  of  Cassian  and  Lim- 
borch.  Indeed,  Dr.  Miller  has  no  hesitation  in  avow- 
ing himself  a  theologian  of  that  school.  It  requires 
no  argument  to  show  that  if  Evangelical  Arminian- 
ism should  take  on  that  theological  type  it  will  have 
renounced  the  leadership  of  Wesley,  Fletcher  and 
Watson;  notwithstanding  Dr.  Miller's  labored  attempt 
to  evince  the  contrary. 

There  is  another  and  apparently  more  promising 
method  by  which  an  attempt  may  be  made  to  meet 
the  difficulty  created  by  the  alleged  co-existence  in 
the  infant  of  corruption  with  entire  innocence.  It 
will  be  urged  that  the  same  difficulty  obtains  in  the 
case  of  the  adult  who  is  actually  justified  by  faith. 
His  whole  guilt  is  removed  by  the  justifying  act,  but 
yet  the  principle  of  corruption  remains,  and  it  will 
no  doubt  be  said  that  upon  this  fact  the  Calvinist  lays 
especial  emphasis.      But — 

The  removal  of  guilt  and  regeneration  are  insep- 
arably related  to  each  other.  If  one  takes  place  so 
must  the  other.  This  is  admitted  by  the  Arminian 
himself  No  question  is  here  raised  in  regard  to  tlie 
order  in  which  they  occur — that  is,  whether  regener- 
ation precedes  justification,  or  the  opposite.  Nor  is 
it  here  made  a  question  whether  they  occur  synchron- 
ously, or  may  be  separated   by  an  interval  of  time. 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  20 1 

What  is  urged  is,  that  where  one  of  these  great 
clianges  takes  place  the  other  will  at  some  time  assur- 
edly occur.  In  the  divine  plan  of  salvation  they  are 
never  disjoined.  As  the  Calvinist  would  say,  he  who 
has  been  regenerated  will  be  justified,  and  as  the  Ar- 
minian  would  put  it,  he  who  has  been  justified  will 
be  regenerated.  No  adult  is  held,  by  either,  to  be 
merely  regenerated  or  merely  justified,  merely  re- 
newed or  merely  absolved  from  guilt.  There  is  not 
in  the  case  of  the  justified  believer  the  simple  co-ex- 
istence of  depravity  with  the  removal  of  guilt.  This 
inseparable  relation  of  justification  and  regeneration 
the  i\rminian  concedes  with  reference  to  infants  dy- 
ing in  infancy.  No  human  being  can  be  admitted 
into  heaven  guilty  and  unregenerate.  But  the  weight 
of  the  difficulty  lies  upon  the  case  of  the  unregener- 
ate infant  who  lives  to  adult  age.  He,  according  to 
the  supposition,  is  absolved  from  Adam's  guilt  and 
yet  is  not  regenerate.  There  is  the  simple,  unmod- 
ified co-existence  of  innocence  and  depravity  in  his 
case,  and  consequently  the  analogy  between  it  and 
that  of  the  justified  believer  fails. 

If  to  meet  this  special  difficulty,  it  be  said  that  not 
only  are  all  infants  justified  from  the  guilt  of  Adam's 
sin,  but  that  all  infants  are  regenerated,  the  rejoinder 
is,  that  the  Arminian  doctrine,  so  far  from  teaching 
the  regeneration  of  all  infants,  teaches  the  contrary  ; 
and  further,  it  cannot  be  true  that  every  heathen  man 
has  been  regenerated  in  infancy. 

It  deserves  also  to  be  noticed  that  while  depravity 
continues  to  exist  in  the  justified  believer,  its  oper- 
ation is,  in  two  respects,  very  seriously  modified,  (i.) 
It  no  longer  reigns.      It  is  not  ihe  dominant  principle. 

202     Calvinisni  and  Evangelical  Arini)iianism. 

Grace  reigns.  But  in  the  infant  unregenerated  and 
incapable  of  consciously  exercising  faith  in  Christ,  de- 
pravity is  the  reigning  principle,  and  in  the  event  of 
his  growing  to  maturity  will  develop  as  such  until 
regeneration  takes  place  and  faith  is  exercised  for  jus- 
tification. (2.)  In  the  justified  believer  depravity  is 
checked,  its  development  hindered,  by  the  principle 
of  holiness;  and  this  principle,  as  it  increases  in 
energy,  contributes  more  and  more  to  the  destruction 
of  corruption.  As  this  cannot  be  true  of  the  unre- 
generate  infant,  it  is  obvious  that  the  cases  are  not 

Another  specific  difference  between  the  two  cases 
lies  in  the  fact  that,  previously  to  justification,  every 
believer  has  committed  conscious  sins,  and  developed, 
by  his  voluntary  agency,  the  principle  of  depravity. 
While  he  is  absolved  from  guilt,  so  far  as  the  rectoral 
justice  of  God  is  concerned,  and  the  retributive  con- 
sequences of  sin  are  involved,  it  is  consistent  with 
fatherly  justice  that  the  principle  of  corruption,  re- 
strained by  grace,  should  remain  within  him.  In- 
trinsically, that  is,  considered  not  as  in  Christ,  but  in 
himself,  he  deserves  to  eat  some  of  the  fruits  of  his 
own  doing,  and  experimentally  to  feel  the  bitter- 
ness of  sin.  This  vindication  of  the  co-existence  of 
depravity  with  justification  will  not  apply  to  the  cir- 
cumstances of  an  infant,  who,  according  to  the  sup- 
position, has  been  justified  from  guilt  without  having 
committed  any  conscious  sin. 

Moreover,  it  ought  not  to  escape  observation  that  the 
depravity  which  continues  in  the  justified  believejr  is 
so  overruled  by  God's  government  of  grace  as  to  secure 
the  ends  of  a  wholesome  discipline.      Now,  it  may  be 


Objection  from  Divine  Jnsfiee.  203 

doubted  whether  any  infant  is,  as  such,  susceptible  of 
cisciplinary  rule;  but,  even  if  that  hypothesis  were 
admissible  in  relation  to  infants  dying  in  infancy,  it 
cannot  be  shown  that  depravity  is  overruled  so  as  to 
further  the  ends  of  a  salutary  discipline  in  the  cases 
of  infants  who  do  not  die  in  infancy,  but  live  to  adult 
age  and  palpably  die  in  their  sins. 

These  considerations  are  sufficient  to  show  that  the 
objection  pressed  against  the  Arminian  doctrine  of  the 
absolution  of  every  infant  from  the  guilt  of  Adam's 
sin,  that  it  involves  the  co-existence  of  entire  inno- 
cence and  depravity,  cannot  be  met  by  an  appeal  to 
the  case  of  the  justified  believer. 

Secondly,  the  view  that  Adam's  guilt  has  been  re-  \  *f,^V^^ 
moved  from  every  infant  cannot  be  harmonizd  with 
the  existence  of  depravity,  whether  regarded  from  the 
point  of  view  of  its  origin,  or  of  its  results.  Wesley 
and  Watson  admit  that  it  is  penal  in  its  origin.  But 
if  so,  as  the  guilt  of  Adam's  sin  is  removed  from  the 
infant  by  virtue  of  the  atonement,  the  depravity 
which  is  one  of  its  penal  consequences  must  also  be 
removed.  It  is,  however,  inconsistently  maintained 
that  while  the  cause  is  destroyed  the  effect  remains. 
Let  depravity  be  contemplated  w-ith  reference  to  its 
results.  It  must  be  admitted  that  they  are  penal. 
Whoever  commits  sin  is  worthy  of  punishment.  This 
desert  of  punishment  must  be  checked  by  the  provis- 
ion of  vicarious  atonement,  or  penal  infliction  must 
follow  as  its  consequence.  In  the  case  of  the  infant, 
w^ho  lives  to  maturity,  depravity,  it  is  conceded,  is- 
sues in  conscious  acts  of  sin.  Before  he  is  justified 
by  faith  these  sins  merit  punishment.  Notwithstand- 
ing then  the  allegred  removal  of  Adam's  guilt  from 

204     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism. 

the  infant,  he  incurs  condemnation  when  he  commits 
personal  sins ;  and  this  is  the  natural  result  of  the 
existence  in  him  of  the  principle  of  corruption.  How 
is  this  exposure  to  incur  punishment  reconcilable 
with  the  removal  of  Adam's  guilt?  Only  in  one  con- 
ceivable way  :  bv  his  fallino^  into  sin  throug:h  his  own 
avoidable  act.  But  such  a  fall  is  denied  in  regard  to 
each  individual,  as  we  have  seen  in  a  citation  from 
Dr.  Pope.  And  such  a  fall  as  Adam's  was  when  he 
first  contracted  guilt  would  be  out  of  the  question, 
since  our  first  father  had,  previously  to  his  first  act  of 
sin,  no  principle  of  depravity,  and  the  infant  confess- 
edly has.  If  it  be  urged  that  sufficient  grace  is  given 
to  make  the  first  sinful  act  and  its  consequent  fall 
avoidable,  it  would  follow  that  each  individual  falls 
as  Adam  did  ;  and  that  is  denied.  It  is  evident  that 
the  presence  of  the  principle  of  corruption  in  the  un- 
regenerated  infant,  who  is  held  to  be  exempted  from 
the  penal  consequences  of  Adam's  sin  and  yet  is  not 
guilty  of  conscious  transgression,* is  a  fact  which 
must  prove  troublesome  to  the  Evangelical  Arminian.^ 

^  It  may  be  urged  that  the  same  reduction  to  absurdity  applies  to 
the  Calviuistic  element  of  the  Federal  Theology,  that  the  elect 
are,  in  consequence  of  their  virtual  or  representative  justification 
in  Christ  their  Covenant  Head,  absolved  from  their  virtual  or  rep- 
resentative condemnation  in  Adam  their  head  in  the  first  Covenant. 
How  can  they  be  conceived  to  be,  in  infancy,  at  the  same  time 
free  from  guilt  and  totally  depraved  ?  The  answer  is,  that  although 
they  are  virtually  justified,  they  are  actually  condemned.  There 
is  no  contradiction  between  virtual  justification  and  actual  con- 
demnation. In  the  case  of  the  elect  who  become  adults,  their  ac- 
tual condemnation  in  Adam  continues  iintil  they  exercise  faith  in 
Christ  and  are  actually  justified.  Their  actual  condemnation  and 
their  depravity  go  on  concurrently  until  then.  In  the  case  of  in- 
fants, dying  in  infancy,  regeneration  implants  the  principle  of  holi- 

Obicction  from  Divine  Justice.  205 

Thirdly,  if  Adam's  guilt  is  removed  from  every 
infant,  the  Arminian  has  to  account  for  spiritual  death  ^^>Lv*^ 
as  remaining  in  him.  Spiritual  death  is  held  by  him^v^.v  ^' 
to  be  a  consequence  of  Adam's  guilt  entailed  upon 
his  posterity.  Now  if  the  cause  be  removed  the  effect 
must  go  with  it.  But,  confessedly,  the  effect  does  not 
eo.  It  must  therefore  be  inferred  that  the  cause  still 
operates  to  produce  it.  If  then  all  infants  are  in  a 
condition  of  spiritual  death,  it  cannot  be  true  that 
Adam's  guilt  has  been  removed  from  them.  It  will 
not  do  to  say  in  reply  to  this  that  a  degree  of  spiritual 
life  is  imparted  to  them.  For,  on  that  supposition, 
some  degree  of  spiritual  death  remains,  as  is  evident 
from  the  form  in  which  Wesley's  statement  is  pre- 
sented  by   Watson — namely,    a    portion    of  spiritual 

ness  which  contains  the  seed  of  faith  ;  and  it  is  not  impossible,  it  is 
probable,  that  God  applies  to  them,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that 
they  cannot  exercise  faith,  the  blood  of  atonement  and  actually 
justifies  them.  In  their  case,  all  guilt  and  all  depravity  are  alike 
removed  by  sovereign  grace  at  death,  and  in  heaven  they  will  ex- 
press their  conscious  acceptance  of  the  plan  by  which  they  were 
saved.  In  the  case  of  the  elect,  who  are  regenerated  in  infancy 
and  may  live  to  adult  age  before  they  exercise  faith  in  Christ  and 
are  actually  justified,  tliree  elements  until  then  co-exist  in  them  : 
actual  condemnation,  the  principle  of  holiness,  and  the  principle 
of  depravity.  There  is  nothing  strange  in  this  supposition,  of  the 
co-existence  in  them  of  the  principles  of  holiness  and  depravity, 
seeing  that  the  same  co-existence  remains  after  actual  justification  ; 
the  difference  being  that  up  to  that  change  depravity  reigns,  and 
after  it  holiness.  The  Arminian  theology,  which  knows  nothing 
of  the  distinction  between  virtual  or  representative  justification 
and  actual,  inasmuch  as  it  rejects  the  principle  of  Representation, 
strictly  considered,  which  necessitates*  that  distinction,  labors  un- 
der all  the  difficulties  which  have  been  mentioned.  It  holds  the 
absolution  of  the  infant  from  all  condemnation,  in  every  sense, 
and  yet  maintains  the  presence  in  him  of  depravity — the  co-exist- 
ence of  absolute  innocence  and  the  principle  of  corruption. 

2o6     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

death  is  removed.  The  portion,  then,  which  is  not 
removed  remains.  But  the  part  continuing  must  be 
accounted  for;  and  it  could  only  be  accounted  for  on 
the  ground  that  a  part  at  least  of  Adam's  guilt,  which 
is  its  cause,  continues. 
A  Fourthly,  actual  justification  is  split  in  two  by  this 
'  hypothesis,  both  as  to  the  thing  itself,  and  as  to  the 
time  at  which  it  occurs.  For  every  infant  is  said  to 
be  justified,  so  far  as  Adam's  guilt  is  concerned. 
When  he  has  arrived  at  adult  age  he  is  exhorted  to 
seek  justification  by  faith.  If  he  receive  it,  it  is  only 
in  part.  For  as  in  infancy  he  was  actually  justified 
from  Adam's  guilt,  he  can,  as  an  adult,  be  justified 
only  from  the  guilt  of  his  own  conscious  sins.  But 
the  Scriptures  make  no  such  division.  They  teach 
that  actual  justification  is  one,  having  reference  as 
well  to  tlie  guilt  derived  from  Adam  as  to  that  con- 
tracted by  personal  transgressions. 

Fifthly,  the  Evangelical  Arminian  theology  is  ii^ 
consistent  with  itself  in  regard  to  the  analogy  which 
it  affirms  between  the  effects  of  Adam's  sin  and 
Christ's  righteousness.  In  the  first  place,  it  admits 
that  Adam's  sin  entailed  spiritual  death  upon  his 
descendants.  But  as  it  contends  that  Adam's  guilt  is 
entirely  removed  from  his  posterity  by  virtue  of  the 
atonement,  it  should,  to  be  consistent,  hold  that  the 
entire  effect  of  that  guilt  is  removed.  Tliat  would 
involve  the  total  removal  of  spiritual  death.  On  the 
contrary,  it  only  concedes  the  removal  of  a  portion  of 
j  spiritual  death.  Tlie  benefit  of  the  Atonement  does 
\  not  match  the  injury  of  the  Fall.  The  life  conferred 
is  not  equal  to  the  death  inflicted.  The  analogy 
breaks  down.     In  the  second  place,  it  admits  that  the 

Objection  frof/i  Divine  Jiisiice.  207 

condeniiiation  entailed  by  Adam's  sin  upon  the  whole 
race  was  actual,  not  possible.  As  it  contends  for  an 
analogous  effect,  mutatis  mutandis^  of  Christ's  right- 
eousness upon  the  whole  race,  the  justification  of  the 
whole  race  ought  to  be  actual,  not  possible.  But 
only  in  part  is  it  said  to  be  actual  :  only  infants  ex- 
perience an  actual  justification,  and  that  from  Adam's 
guilt.  The  justification  of  the  infant  who  lives  to 
adult  age  is  merely  possible.  It  is  conditioned  upon 
a  faith  which  may  never  be  exercised.  The  justifica- 
tion bestowed  by  Christ  does  not  match  the  condem- 
nation entailed  by  Adam.  In  the  third  place,  it 
admits  that  the  ruin  resultino^  from  Adam's  sin  was 
an  actual,  not  a  possible,  ruin.  The  race  is  "lost  and 
ruined  by  the  Fall."  So  the  salvation  resulting  from 
Christ's  righteousness  should  be  an  actual,  not  pos- 
sible, salvation.  But  the  analogy  fails.  The  possible 
salvation  said  to  have  been  won  by  Christ  does  not 
^tiatch  the  actual  ruin  inflicted  by  Adam:  in  Adam  all 
do  die;  in  Christ  all  may  live.  Myriads  do  not 
actually  live.  For  to  restrict  the  term  life  to  the 
resurrection  of  the  body,  and  to  say  that  the  wicked 
will  be  raised  to  life  in  Christ,  is  to  misinterpret  the 
glorious  words  of  Paul,  and  destroy  their  grand  sig- 

(2.)  The  position  must  next  be  considered,  that,  by 
virtue  of  Christ's  atonement,  God  has  given  to  every 
man  a  degree  of  spiritual  life  involving  the  restoration 
of  a  measure  of  free-will,  so  that  every  man  is  endued 
with  sufl[icient  ability  to  comply  with  the  divine  re- 
quirements. Now,  either  it  is  contended  that  this 
infusion  of  a  degree  of  spiritual  life  is  regeneration, 
or  that  it  is  not. 

2o8     Gcilvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

If  it  be  contended  that  it  is  reg^eneration,  the  reply- 
is  obvious.  It  is  true  that  Arniinian  writers  do  not 
make  this  supposition,  and  therefore  it  would  seem  to 
be  unnecessarily  considered  here.  But  if  there  be  an 
impartation  of  spiritual  life  to  those  who  are  admitted 
to  be  spiritually  dead,  it  must  be  regeneration,  even 
though  it  is  by  Arminians  denied  to  be.  The  consid- 
eration of  the  hypothesis  is  therefore,  from  the  neces- 
sity of  the  case,  required.      Now  — 

In  the  first  place,  Arminians  are  inconsistent  with 
themselves  in  regard  to  this  subject.  If  every  man 
who  by  nature  is  spiritually  dead  is  by  grace  made 
spiritually  alive,  it  is  perfectly  manifest  that  every 
man  is  in  infancy  born  again;  for  the  new  birth  is 
precisely  the  change  in  which  a  principle  of  spiritual 
life  is  supernatttralty  introduced  into  the  soul  of  the 
sinner.  To  take  anv  other  oround  is  to  o^ainsav  the 
Scriptures.  They  represent  the  change  as  one  in 
which  the  spiritually  dead  sinner  is  quickened,  and 
if  the  infusion  of  a  degree  of  spiritual  life  does  not 
quicken  the  soul,  language  has  no  meaning.  Every 
man  then  is  in  infancy  born  again.  But  Evangelical 
Arminians  and  Evangelical  Arminian  preachers  en- 
force upon  adults  the  necessity  of  being  born  again. 
Why  preach  the  need  of  the  new  birth  to  those  who 
are  already  born  again?  How  with  consistency  can  it 
be  said.  You  are  regenerated,  but  you  must  be  regen- 

In  the  second  place,  if  the  impartation  of  a  degree 
of  spiritual  life  be  regeneration,  as  the  purpose  of  its 
bestowal,  according  to  the  Arminian  theology,  is  that 
the  will  of  the  sinner  may  be  assisted  in  determining 
the  question  of  conversion,  the  regenerating  grace  of 

Objection  from  Divine  JiiUice.  209 

the  Holy  Ghost  is  reduced  into  subordination  to  the 
natural  will  :  it  is  made  a  minister  to  incite  that  will 
to  take  saving  action.  Surely  that  cannot  be  true.  If 
it  be  replied  that  it  is  the  regenerating  grace  that  de- 
termines the  will,  one  of  the  differentiating  elements 
of  the  Arminian  system  is  given  up,  and,  to* that  ex- 
tent, the  Calvinistic  adopted. 

In  the  third  place,  either  it  is  maintained  that  this 
degree  of  spiritual  life  continues,  or  that  it  does  not 
continue,  with  the  sinner  until  the  moment  of  his  be- 
lieving in  Christ.  If  it  continue  with  him  through 
all  changes  until  he  believes,  it  may  be  long  after  he 
has  reached  adult  age,  how  comes  it  to  pass  that  it 
does  not  prove  more  successful  as  an  assistant  of  the 
will?  Could  anything  more  clearly  show  the  inferi- 
ority and  subserviency  to  the  natural  wnll'of  the  re- 
generating grace  of  God,  than  such  an  hypothesis  ? 
If  it  does  not  continue  till  the  act  of  believing  in 
Christ,  but  may  be  lost  through  the  obstinate  resist- 
ance of  the  sinner's  will,  is  it  again  imparted,  and 
again,  and  again  ?  Is  the  series  of  infusions  kept  up 
until  final  impenitency  ensues  and  the  failure  of  its 
mission  stands  confessed  ;  or  until  the  sovereign  will 
of  the  sinner  vouchsafes  compliance  with  its  solicita- 
tions ?  And  is  the  sinner,  before  he  believes  in  Christ, 
born  again  an  indefinite  number  of  times  ?  Are  there 
many  spiritual  births  before  that  second  birth  for 
which  the  unconverted  sinner  is  exhorted  to  pray  and 
strive  ? 

If  it  be  contended— and  it  is  by  Arminian  waiters 
contended— that  the  infusion  of  a  degree  of  spiritual 
life  into  every  man  is  not  regeneration,  the  answer  is: 
from  the  nature  of  the  case  it  must  be.     That  which 

2IO      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arininianism. 

is  dead  has  no  degree  of  life;  that  wliicli  has  a  degree 
of  life  is  not  dead.  The  supposition  of  the  least  de- 
gree of  life  destroys  the  supposition  of  death.  If  then 
the  least  degree  of  spiritual  life  be  infused  into  every 
man,  it  follows  that  every  man  is  spiritually  alive. 
To  deny  this  is  to  affirm  that  a  man  may  be  spiritually 
dead  and  spiritually  alive  at  one  and  the  same  time. 
But  if,  in  consequence  of  the  infusion  of  a  degree  of 
spiritual  life  into  every  man,  every  man  is  spiritually 
alive,  every  man  is  regenerated.  Every  heathen  is,  in 
infancy,  regenerated.  For,  it  is  the  very  office  of  re- 
generation to  impart  spiritual  life  to  the  spiritually 
dead  sinner.  It  is  admitted  by  all  evangelical  theo- 
logians, including  Arminians,  that  regeneration, 
strictly  speaking,  is  God's  act  in  consequence  of  which 
a  sinner  is  born  again.  If  then  he  cannot  be  spirit- 
ually alive  before  he  is  spiritually  born,  or,  what  is 
the  same,  born  again,  he  cannot  be  spiritually  alive 
before  he  is  regenerated;  as  he  cannot  begin  to  live 
spiritually  before  his  new  birth,  he  cannot  begin  to 
live  spiritually  before  his  regeneration.  Upon  this 
point  we  w^ant  no  clearer  proof  than  is  furnished  by 
Wesley  himself  "Before"  he  says,  "a  child  is  born 
into  the  world,  he  has  eyes,  but  sees  not :  he  has  ears, 
but  does  not  hear.  He  has  a  very  imperfect  use  of 
any  other  sense.  He  has  no  knowledge  of  any  of  the 
things  of  the  world,  or  any  natural  understanding. 
To  that  manner  of  existence  wdiich  he  then  has 
we  do  not  even  give  the  name  of  life.  It  is  then 
only  when  a  man  is  born  that  we  say  he  begins  to 

He  then  applies  the  felicitous  illustration  to  the  case 
of  a  man   "in  a  mere  natural  state,  before  he  is  born 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  2ii 

of  God."  ^  This  witness  is  true.  To  be  spiritually 
alive  is  to  be  born  ag^ain.  But  as  to  be  born  again  is 
to  be  regenerated,  to  be  spiritually  alive  is  to  be  re- 
generated. One,  therefore,  fails  to  see  how  the  Evan- 
gelical Arminian  can  consistently  deny  that,  accord- 
ing to  his  doctrine,  every  man  is  in  infancy  regener- 
ated. There  is  but  one  conceivable  mode  in  which 
this  difficulty  maybe  sought  to  be  avoided.  He  may 
deny  that  one  who  has  a  degree  of  spiritual  life  is 
spiritually  alive  ;  and  it  is  enough  to  say  of  such  a 
position  that  its  statement  is  its  refutation.  But  if  it 
comes  to  this,  that  every  m^n  is  affirmed  to  be  regen- 
erated in  infancy,  the  doctrine  would  surpass  in  ex- 
travagance that  of  baptismal  regeneration  ;  and  yet, 
by  a  happy  inconsistency,  the  Evangelical  Arminian 
utterly  rejects  that  doctrine.     Wonders  never  cease. 

One  might  go  on  accumulating  obstacles  in  the 
path  of  this  remarkable  tenet,  that  God  gives  a  degree 
or  seed  of  spiritual  life  to  every  man;  but  more  will 
not  now  be  said  in  regard  to  it,  as  it  is  the  same  with 
the  doctrine  of  "sufficient  grace"  which  has  already 
been  partially  considered,  and  will  be  still  more  par- 
ticularly examined  when  the  objection  to  the  Calvin- 
istic  doctrine  from  the  divine  goodness  shall  come  to 
be  discussed.  It  has  been  shown  that  tlie  Arminian 
attempt  is  vain  to  escape  the  difficulty  which  was 
alleged  to  rest  upon  him  as  well  as  upon  the  Calvinist 
— namely,  the  reconciliation  of  the  spiritual  inability 
in  which  men  are  born  with  the  justice  of  God  in 
punishing  them  for  sin. 

3.  The  Calvinistic  solution  of  this  great  difficulty, 
from  the  days  of  Augustin  to  the  present  time,  is, 
^  Serm.  on  the  New  Birth. 

212      Calvinism  and  Ez'ano-elical  Arminianism 


that  men's  spiritual  inability  is  not  original,  but 
penal.  It  is  not  original,  for  God  conferred  upon  man 
at  the  creation  ample  ability  to  comply  with  all  his 
requirements.  There  was  not  inserted  into  his  nature 
any  evil  principle  from  which  sin  could  be  developed, 
nor  any  weakness  or  imperfection  which,  in  the 
absence  of  determining  grace,  necessitated  a  fall. 
He  was,  it  is  true,  liable  to  fall  in  consequence 
of  mutability  of  will,  but  he  was  at  the  same  time 
able  to  stand.  When,  therefore,  he  sinned,  the  fault 
was  altogether  his  own.  He  could  not  lay  the  blame 
upon  his  natural  constitution,  and  so,  by  implication, 
upon  its  divine  author.  He  unnecessarily  and  inex- 
cusably revolted  against  the  paternal  and  beneficent 
rule  of  God,  and  consequently  subjected  himself  to 
the  just  sentence  of  a  violated  law.  When  lie  sinned, 
he  wantonly,  deliberately,  wilfully  threw  away  that 
spiritual  ability  with  which  he  had  been  richly  en- 
dowed. He  disabled  himself  by  his.  own  act.  His 
subsequent  inability  to  love  God  and  obey  his  law 
was  a  necessary  part  of  his  punishment.  For,  the 
judicial  curse  of  the  divine  government,  and  the 
rupture  of  the  spiritual  bond  which  united  him  to 
God  as  the  source  of  holiness  and  strength,  certainly 
involved  the  withdrawal  of  grace,  and  the  loss  of 
ability.  Original  righteousness  was  forfeited.  In  a 
word,  his  inability  was  penal. 

Now,  when  our  first  father  sinned,  he  acted  not  for 
himself  alone  but  also  for  his  posterity.  He  was  ap- 
pointed by  God  their  federal  head  and  representative. 
Consequently,  while  his  act  of  sin  was  not  theirs  con- 
sciously and  subjectively,  for  at  the  time  of  its  com- 
mission they  had  no  conscious  existence,  it  was  theirs 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  2 1 3 

federally,  legally,  representatively.  The  judicial  con- 
sequences of  his  first  sin  were  likewise  entailed  upon 
them.  "They  sinned  in  him  and  fell  with  him  in 
his  first  transgression;"  they  were  condemned  in 
his  condemnation;  and  they  lost  their  spiritual  ability 
in  him.  The  spiritual  inability  which  was  a  part  of 
his  punishment  is  a  part  of  theirs.  As  the  inability 
which  he  brought  upon  himself  did  not,  and  could 
not,  discharge  him  from  the  obligation  to  obey  God, 
so  neither  does  theirs  relieve  them  of  the  same  obli- 
gation. The  spiritual  inability  of  the  race,  as  it  was 
self-contracted  by  an  avoidable  act  of  rebellion  against 
God,  cannot  exempt  them  from  the  punishment  which 
is  justly  due  to  their  sin.  And  if  it  be  just  for  God  to 
punish  them  in  time,  it  was  just  for  him  to  decree  the 
punishment  in  eternity.  That  is  to  say,  the  decree  of 
reprobation  is  consistent  with  justice. 

4.  We  have  now  reached  the  last  point  in  this  re- 
gression. We  have  got  back  to  Adam,  and  the  re- 
sponsibility of  the  race  for  his  first  sin.  Here  the  dif- 
ference between  the  Calvinistic  and  Arminian  doctrines 
seems  to  be  lessened,  and  they  appear  to  approximate 
each  other.  For  they  agree  in  affirming  the  account- 
ability of  mankind  for  the  first  sin  of  the  first  man, 
although  they  differ  as  to  the  mode  in  which  that 
accountability  is  realized;  the  Arminian  contenting 
himself  with  holding  the  parental  relation  as  ground- 
ing it,  the  Calvinist  contending  that  over  and  beyond 
the  parental  there  was  the  strictly  legal  and  represen- 
tative relation  from  which  the  responsibility  of  the 
race  is  derived.  To  both  parties  the  question  springs 
up  just  here — and  it  is  one  of  profoundest  interest  and 
importance — W^as  it  just  that  the  human  race  should 

214     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

be  held  responsible  for  the  first  sin  of  Adam,  their 
progenitor,  so  that  the  judicial  consequences  of  that 
sin  are  entailed  upon  them? 

It  is  not  necessary  here  to  discuss  the  question,  as 
one  of  fact,  whether  God  entered  into  a  covenant 
with  Adam  which  implicated  his  posterity  in  his  re- 
sponsibility. The  fact  of  such  a  covenant,  the  fact 
that  there  was  some  sort  of  federal  constitution  in  re- 
lation to  Adam  and  his  posterity,  is  admitted  by 
Evangelical  Arminians.  They  admit  that  the  ac- 
count given  in  Genesis  of  the  transactions  in  the  gar- 
den of  Eden  is  not  allegorical  but  literal,  not  mythical 
but  historical.  They  hold  that  the  universality  of 
bodily  suffering  and  death,  and  of  sin  working  with 
the  force  of  an  all-pervading  law  from  the  moment 
that  the  human  faculties  begin  to  expand,  proves  con- 
clusively that  in  some  way  guilt  and  depravity  are 
inherited  from  the  primitive  ancestor  of  the  race,  and 
are  not  originated  by  the  conscious  acts  of  each  indi- 
vidual. Every  man  at  birth  is  the  heir  of  guilt  and 
corruption.  As  then  the  fact  of  a  federal  constitution 
of  some  kind,  and  of  the  accountability,  in  some 
sense,  of  all  men  as  parties  to  it  in  their  first  parent, 
is  maintained  by  Evangelical  Arminians  along  with 
almost  the  whole  nominal  Church,  it  is  not  requisite 
to  enforce  the  proofs  of  it  which  are  challenged  by 
Pelagians  and  Socinians,  Rationalists  and  Sceptics. 
It  will  be  assumed. 

But  the  questions,  what  the  nature  of  the  covenant 
was,  in  what  sense  Adam  was  the  head  and  represent- 
ative of  his  posterity,  how  the  federal  constitution 
affects  our  conceptions  of  the  justice  of  God  in  his 
dealings  with  the  human  race, — these  questions  it  is 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  215 

vital  to  the  argument  to  consider.  The  Evangelical 
Arminian  charges  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  with  attri- 
buting injustice  to  God.  But  as  he,  with  the  Calvin- 
ist,  concedes  the  hereditary  guilt  and  corruption  of 
mankind,  in  consequence  of  which,  notwithstanding 
the  aids  of  grace  which  he  alleges  are  furnished  them, 
innumerable  multitudes  actually  perish,  it  is  incum- 
bent upon  him  as  w^ell  as  upon  the  Calvinist  to  vindi- 
cate the  divine  justice  in  view^  of  these  mysterious 
but  undeniable  facts.  This  he  endeavors  to  accom- 
plish in  two  ways: 

(i.)  The  first  is  this:  God,  along  w^ith  the  decree 
to  permit  the  fall  of  the  first  man  and  of  his  posterity 
as  implicated  in  his  responsibility,  and  his  foreknowl- 
edge that  the  fall  thus  permitted  would  take  place, 
also  decreed  to  provide  a  redemption  which  would 
match  the  foreseen  evil  in  all  its  extent.  It  is  pleaded 
that  the  apparent  injustice  in  holding  the  race  in- 
volved in  the  consequences  of  their  first  father^s  siu 
and  fall  is  relieved  by  the  redemptive  provision.  The 
alleged  bearing  of  this  provided  redemption  upon  the 
race,  in  absolving  every  man  from  the  imputation  of 
Adamic  guilt,  and  restoring  to  each  a  seed  of  spiritual 
life  and  a  competent  measure  of  free  will,  thus  afiford- 
ing  to  all  a  fair  probation,  removing  from  them  spir- 
itual inability,  and  rendering  it  possible  for  them  to 
avail  themselves  of  the  salvation  procured  by  Christ, 
— this  has  been  already  discussed.  The  point  now  to 
be  considered  is,  the  allegation  of  the  Evangelical 
Arminian  theology  that  without  such  a  decreed  pro- 
vision of  redemption,  accompanying  the  fall  of  the 
race  in  Adam  and  intended  to  counteract  its  disastrous 
results,  the  justice  of  God   could  not  be  vindicated  ; 

21 6     Calvi?tism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisui. 

but  that,  on  the  other  hand,  the  fact  of  that  provision 
supplies  the  desired  vindication. 

It  is  difficult,  if  not  impracticable,  to  ascertain  the 
catholic  doctrines  of  the  Evangelical  Arminian  system. 
One  theologian  teaches  a  doctrine  which  another 
either  denies  or  modifies; 'and  there  is  no  common, 
recognized  standard  by  which  these  differences  could 
be  judged.  In  regard  to  the  positions  just  mentioned, 
for  example,  some  hold  that  the  purpose  to  permit  the 
Fall  with  the  entailment  of  its  consequences  upon  all 
mankind,  and  the  purpose  to  provide  redemption  as 
an  antidote,  were  concurrent.  Neither  was  the  re- 
deeming purpose  conditioned  by  the  purpose  to  permit 
the  Fall,  nor  was  it  pre-supposed  by  the  purpose 
touching  the  Fall.  They  must  be  conceived  as  con- 
current, neither  pre-supposing  the  other.  With  ref- 
erence to  this  view  it  is  sufficient  to  say  that  it  is 
neither  conceivable  nor  credible.  We  are  oblio-ed  to 
think  one  purpose  as  pre-supposing  another,  not  in 
the  order  of  time — for  that  order  is  inapplicable  to 
God's  eternal  purposes — but  in  the  order  of  nature  or 
of  thought.  How  could  the  conception  of  redemption 
exist  without  the  pre-supposition  of  beings  to  be 
redeemed  ?  And  how  could  the  conception  of  such 
beings  obtain  without  the  pre-supposition  of  a  fall  into 
sin  and  misery  ? 

Again,  it  has,  with  more  ground  in  reason,  been 
maintained  that  the  purpose  of  redemption,  in  the 
order  of  thought,  preceded  and  conditioned  the  pur- 
pose to  permit  the  Fall  and,  indeed,  all  other  pur- 
poses, even  that  to  create.      But — 

In  the  first  place,  this  view  is  inconsistent  with  the 
usual  statement  in  the  Arminian  scheme  of  the  order 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  217 

of  the  divine  purposes, — namely  the  purpose  to  create; 
the  purpose  to  permit  the  Fall;  the  purpose  to  redeem; 
the  purpose  to  call;  the  purpose  to  elect. 

In  the  second  place,  it  has  no  clear  support  from 
Scripture.  It  has  been  supposed  to  be  required  by 
such  passages  as  Colossians  i.  16,  where  it  is  stated 
that  all  things  were  created,  not  only  by  Christ,  but 
for  him.  This  statement,  however,  does  not  neces- 
sarily imply  that  all  things  were  created  by  the  Son 
of  God  and  for  him,  as  he  is  Redeemer.  And  unless 
that  could  be  proved  to  be  the  meaning  of  the  passage, 
the  view  under  consideration  is  not  substantiated  by 
it.  No  doubt  the  world  was  made  for  the  glory  of  the 
eternal  Son  of  God,  but,  for  aught  that  appears  to  the 
contrary,  that  end  might  have  been  secured  had  sin 
not  taken  place,  and  had  there  consequently  been  no 
redemption.  It  is  right  to  say  that  creation  has  by 
divine  decree  become  a  magnificent  theatre  for  the 
display  of  the  transcendent  glory  of  redemption;  but 
that  is  very  different  from  saying  that  creation  was 
decreed  in  order  to  be  the  theatre  of  redemption. 

In  the  third  place,  this  scheme  of  the  divine  decrees 
is  liable  to  some  of  the  difficulties,  metaphysical  and 
moral,  to  which  that  of  the  Supralapsarian  is  exposed. 
A  decree  to  redeem  merely  creatable  beings,  or  even 
created  but  unfallen  beings,  is  inconceivable,  if  not 
self-contradictory  ;  and  if  the  decree  of  redemption, 
in  the  order  of  thought,  preceded  the  decrees  to  create 
and  to  permit  the  Fall,  creation  and  the  Fall  were 
means  necessary  to  the  accomplishment  of  the  re- 
demptive end.  That  would  run  athwart  the  doctrine 
of  a  simple  permission  of  the  Fall;  and,  further,  since 
a  laroe  section  of  the  human  race,  according  to  the 

2i8      Calvinism  a)id  Evangelical  Arviinianism. 

admission  of  Arminians,  are  not  actually  saved,  the 
end  contemplated  by  the  decree  of  redemption  would, 
to  that  extent,  fail  to  be  accomplished  and  the  divine 
will  be  defeated. 

This  view  has  also  difficulties  peculiar  to  itself.  For, 
as  the  foreknowledge  of  a  permitted  fall  could  not,  in 
the  order  of  thought,  have  preceded  the  decree  to 
create,  since  merely  possible  beings  could  not  be  per- 
mitted actually  to  fall,  and  it  is  impossible  to  see  how 
the  certainty  that  such  beings  would  actually  fall  could 
be  foreknown,  the  decree  to  redeem  would  have  had 
no  redeemable  objects  upon  which  to  terminate,  and 
therefore  is  inconceivable.  x\nd  still  further,  if  it  be 
contended  that  such  a  decree  was  possible,  it  follows 
that  as  it  fails,  in  its  execution,  to  secure  the  final  re- 
demption of  all,  and  actually  issues  in  that  only  of 
some,  of  the  human  race,  it  would  be  subject  to  the 
very  objection  which  Arminians  urge  against  the  Cal- 
vinistic  decree  of  election. 

But,  w^hatever  be  the  relation  which  Evangelical 
Arminians  predicate  of  the  purpose  to  permit  the  Fall 
and  the  purpose  to  redeem,  whether  the  one  precedes 
the  other,  or  they  are  absolutely  concurrent,  the  dif- 
ficulty which  they  seek  to  avoid  by  making  the  de- 
cree to  redeem  complementary  to  the  decree  to  per- 
mit the  Fall  still  presses  upon  them.  They  do  not, 
by  this  means,  vindicate  the  justice  of  God  in  impli- 
cating the  race  in  the  responsibilities  attending  Adam's 
sin.  It  is  held,  let  it  be  remembered,  that  it  would 
have  been  unjust  in  God  to  treat  the  race  as  respon- 
sible for  Adam's  sin,  had  he  not  purposed  to  provide 
redemption  from  its  consequences. 

First,   It  deserves  to  be  remarked  that  EvanQrelical 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  219 

Anniiiians  are  accustomed  to  enforce  the  analogy  be- 
tween the  sufferings  of  men  for  the  sin  of  Adam  and 
the  sufferings  of  children  for  the  sins  of  their  parents. 
Now,  either  it  is  just  that  children  should  suffer  for 
the  sins  of  their  parents,  or  it  is  unjust.  If  it  be  said 
to  be  just,  then,  if  the  analogy  hold,  it  is  just  that 
Adam's  children  should  suffer  for  his  sin.  If  it  be 
said  to  be  unjust,  God's  ordinary  providence  is 
charged  with  injustice  ;  for  it  is  a  fact  that  children 
do  suffer  for  the  sins  of  their  parents.  Either  alter- 
native is  damaging  to  the  Arminian  view.  Let  it  be 
observed,  that  this  argument  is  addressed  to  the  con- 
cessions of  Arminians.  The  analogy  which  they 
plead  I  regard  as  deceptive,  and  the  argument  based 
upon  it  as  inconclusive. 

Secondly,  If  the  implication  of  the  race  in  the  con- 
sequences of  Adam's  sin  would  have  been  unjust 
apart  from  the  purpose  of  redemption,  it  would  followj 
that  the  prevention  of  the  injustice  must  be  conceivedj 
as  having  been  the  demand  of  justice  and  not  a  freei 
dictate  of  grace.  A  measure  by  which  injustice  is 
prevented  or  removed  cannot,  without  an  abuse  of 
language,  be  denominated  a  fruit  of  grace.  It  is  a 
product  of  justice.  And  so  the  grace  of  God  is  no 
more  grace.  The  redemption  of  sinners  from  the 
consequences  of  the  Fall  is  required  by  justice.  The 
sinner,  therefore,  instead  of  extolling  divine  grace 
should  celebrate  divine  justice  ;  instead  of  shouting, 
Grace!  grace!  he  should  shout.  Justice!  justice!  The 
truth  is,  that  a  constitution  of  things  by  which  the 
interposition  of  divine  justice  is  required  to  prevent 
or  remove  the  effects  of  divine  injustice  is,  from  the 
nature  of  the  case,  as  inconceivable  as  it  is  impossible. 

220     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

The  only  relief  to  the  Arminian  from  the  pressure  of 
this  difficulty  would  lie  in  denying  that  men,  in  any 
sense,  suflfer  on  account  of  Adam's  sin,  and  that 
would  throw  him  into  collision  with  the  doctrine  of 
Scripture,  the  facts  of  experience  and  the  results  of 

Thirdly,  If,  apart  from  the  provision  of  redemption, 
the  constitution  by  which  the  race  was  involved  in 
the  consequences  of  Adam's  sin  would  have  been  in- 
trinsically unjust,  the  redemptive  provision  accom- 
panying it  could  not  possibly  relieve  that  intrinsic 
injustice.  It  would  inhere  in  the  very  nature  of  such 
a  constitution.  The  redemption  provided  might  de- 
liver men  from  its  evil  results,  but  it  could  not  deliver 
God  from  the  charge  of  having  instituted  an  arrange- 
ment in  itself  unjust.  It  would  relieve  the  disaster, 
but  leave  the  original  wrong  untouched.  The  conse- 
quence of  the  injustice  would  be  removed,  but  the  in- 
justice would  abide.  No  fact  can  be  undone.  To  state 
the  case  differently:  if  a  federal  constitution  by  which 
Adam's  descendants  became  responsible  for  his  sin 
would  have  been  in  itself  unjust,  the  co-ordination 
with  it  of  a  redeeming  purpose  could  not  cancel  the 
injustice,  for  that  purpose  could  only  take  effect  after 
the  wrong  had  been  inflicted.  Men  must  have  suf- 
fered before  they  could  be  actually  redeemed.  If  not, 
from  what  would  they  be  redeemed  ?  The  suffering, 
consequently,  must  while  it  lasts  be  conceived  as  hav- 
ing been  unjustly  imposed. 

Fourthly,  If  it  was  intended,  in  order  to  avoid  in- 
justice, that  the  provision  of  redemption  should  de- 
liver men  from  the  sufferings  entailed  upon  them  by 
Adam's  fall,   then  it  was  necessary,   in  order  to  the 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  22 1 

attainiiieiit  of  the  end  contemplated,   that  all   those 
snfferings  shonld  be   removed.      For,  if  any  part  of 
them  remained,    to  that  extent    the  injnstice  would 
not  be  repaired.     And  this  difficulty  weighs  especi- 
ally upon  those  who  hold    that  those  sufferings  are 
penal.     If  it  be  replied,  as  replied  it  must  be,   that 
the  redemptive  provision  was  not  designed  to  operate 
ipso  facto  in  the  removal  of  suffering,   but  that  such 
removal  is  conditioned   upon   the  acceptance  of  the 
offer  of  redemption,  and  that  ability  is  given  to  men 
to  accept   the  offer,    the  difficulty  is  not  discharged. 
For,  in  the  first  place,  infants  can  neither  understand 
nor  accept  the  offer;  yet  they  suffer.      The  injustice 
is  not  removed   from   them.      It  would  be  idle  to  say 
that  they  suffer  disciplinarily,  for,  as  infants,  they  are 
unsusceptible  of  discipline.     They  cannot    perceive 
the  ends  of  suffering.      And  further,  disciplinary  suf- 
fering pre-supposes  penal.      It  cannot  be  justly  im- 
posed upon  beings  who  were  not,  in  the  first  instance, 
either    consciously    or    putatively    guilty.       In    the 
second  place,  the  removal  of  injustice  inflicted  upon- 
adults    cannot,    consistently  with   justice,    be    condi- 
tioned upon  their  voluntary  acceptance  of  an  offer  to 
remove    it.     Justice    requires    the  unconditional    un- 
doing of  injustice  which  has  been  done.      This  diffi- 
culty  becomes  all    the  more  aggravated  when    it   is 
considered    that    the   acceptance    of    the    redeeming 
provision  is  opposed  by   the  corrupt  nature  derived 
from   the  Fall.      Either  God   can  remove   the  conse- 
quences of  the  Fall,  or  he  cannot.      If  he  can  and  does 
not,  he  perpetuates  the  injustice  which  he  is  supposed 
to    have    inflicted.      If  he  cannot,   how  did  the  pro- 
vision  of  redemption   come  to   be  conceived    in    his 

222      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Armijiianism. 

mind  as  calculated  to  relieve  the  intrinsic  injustice 
of  the  federal  constitution?  He  would  in  devising  it 
have  known  that  he  could  not  make  it  effectual  to 
relieve  that  injustice.  If  it  be  said,  that  he  cannot, 
in  accordance  with  the  nature  he  bestowed  upon  man, 
act  inconsistently  with  man's  free  will,  the  answer  is, 
that  when  he  determined  to  provide  redemption  he 
must  have  foreseen  that  limitation  upon  its  applica- 
bility as  a  remedy,  and  therefore  his  inability  fully  to 
remove  the  inherent  injustice  of  the  federal  constitu- 
tion. In  the  third  place,  even  the  offer  of  redemption 
is  not  made  actually  to  every  man.  Some  have  not 
the  opportunity  furnished  them  of  accepting  it. 
Myriads  of  the  heathen  never  heard  of  it.  How  then 
does  the  provision  of  redemption  remove  the  injustice 
involved  in  the  sufferings  induced  upon  them  by  the 
Fall?  If  it  be  urged,  that  the  atonement  of  Christ 
indirectly  benefits  them,  without  their  knowledge  of 
it,  the  reply  is  obvious,  that  their  sufferings  continue. 
They  are  not  benefited  to  the  extent  of  their  removal. 
Nor  can  it  be  pleaded  that  like  adults  in  Christian 
lands  they  bind  their  sufferings  upon  themselves  by 
rejecting  the  tendered  remedy.  For  how  can  they 
reject  a  remedy  which  was  never  proffered  them  ?  To 
say  that  they  have  some  knowledge  of  the  gospel 
through  tradition  from  the  patriarchal,  or  any  other, 
era,  is  but  to  trifle  with  a  solemn  subject.  If  finally 
it  be  said,  that  the  heathen  in  relation  to  the  gospel 
scheme  are  in  a  condition  similar  to  that  of  infants, 
that  will  not  answer,  for  we  have  seen  that  the  suffer- 
ings of  infants  cannot  be  adjusted  to  the  theory  that 
the  provision  of  redemption  checked  the  intrinsic 
injustice  of  the  Adamic  constitution. 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  223 

Under  the  conviction  that  it  is  one  of  the  key- 
positions  of  the  Evangelical  Arniinian  scheme,  I  have 
thus  criticised  with  some  minuteness  the  view,  that 
the  divine  purpose  to  provide  redemption  for  man- 
kind, which  was  co-ordinate  with  the  constitution 
implicating  them  in  the  judicial  consequences  of  their 
first  father's  sin,  prevented  the  injustice  otherwise 
chargeable  upon  that  constitution. 

(2.)  The  second  way,  in  which  Evangelical  Armin- 
ians  attempt  to  vindicate  the  justice  of  God  in  view 
of  the  hereditary  guilt  and  corruption  of  all  men,  is 
to  be  found  in  their  doctrine  concernino:  the  nature 
of  the  relation  sustained  by  the  first  man  to  the  race. 
That  doctrine  is:  that  God  made  a  covenant  with 
Adam  as  a  parental  l>ead  representing  his  posterity, 
by  virtue  of  which  they,  having  been  in  his  loins,  are 
justly  subjected  to  the  consequences  of  his  sin.  They 
were  in  him  as  children  are  in  a  father  ;  one  with 
him  because  of,  and  simply  because  of,  the  parental 
and  filial  relation.  As  they  w:ere  thus — to  use  Wes- 
ley's words — "contained  in  Adam,"  it  followed  that 
when  he  sinned  the  consequences  of  his  fatal  act  were 
deserved  by  them.  In  support  of  this  view  they  ap- 
peal to  the  analogy  of  providence.  Children,  without 
their  conscious  agency,  are  involved  in  the  disastrous 
consequences  of  their  parents'  sins.  They  suflfer  be- 
cause their  fathers  were  criminals  ;  and  to  object,  on 
the  ground  of  injustice,  to  the  primal  constitution 
through  which  all  men  experience  the  injurious  re- 
sults of  their  first  father's  fall  into  sin  is  to  impeach 
the  justice  of  God  in  his  ordinary  and  acknowledged 
dealings  with  men. 

It  is  true  that  some  Arniinian  theologians  affirm 

224      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

that  Adam  was  "a  public  person  and  a  legal  repre- 
sentative;'" and  tliat  this  language  taken  by  itself 
would  imply  that  they  do  not  regard  him  as  having 
been  simply  a  parental  head.  But,  two  considera- 
tions clearly  show  that  notwithstanding  these  terms 
by  which  they  appear  to  qualify  the  merely  parental 
headship  of  the  first  man,  merely  parental  headship 
is  wdiat  they  really  hold.  The  first  is  their  unwilling- 
ness to  admit  that  the  race  had  a  proper  probation  in 
Adam  which  was  closed  by  his  fall  into  sin.  The 
second  is  their  denial  that  the  posterity  of  Adam  in 
any  sense  committed  his  first  sin  and  are  on  that  ac- 
count chargeable  with  its  guilt.  These  facts  prove 
that  they  do  not  maintain,  but  on  the  contrary  deny, 
the  strictly  representative  character  of  the  first  man. 
For,  if  he  had  been  not  only  a  parental  head  and 
trustee,  but  over  and  beyond  that  a  legal  representa- 
tive, of  the  race,  they  would  have  had  their  probation 
in  him,  and  must,  in  accordance  wnth  the  essential 
principle  of  representation,  be  considered  as  having 
legally  and  constructively  performed  his  act  in  com- 
mitting the  first  sin  and  as  being  therefore  chargeable 
with  its  guilt.  We  shall  get  a  precise  conception  of 
the  Evangelical  Arminian  doctrine  concerning  the 
headship  of  Adam  by  comparing  it  with  the  Calvin- 
istic.  The  Evangelical  Arminian  holds  that  when 
God  created  Adam  a  parental  head,  he  in  the  same 
act  and  by  virtue  of  it  created  him  a  federal  head.  In 
becoming  the  first  father,  Adam,  of  necessity,  became 
the  representative,  of  mankind.  Only  as  he  was, 
and  because  he  was,  father  was  he  representative. 
The  Calvinist  holds  that  after  God  had  created  Adam 

'Watson,   Theo.  Inst.,  vol.  ii.  pp.  52,  53. 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  225 

a  parental  head  he,  by  a  free  determination  of  his 
will,  appointed  him  a  federal  head  and  legal  represen- 
tative, and  then  entered  into  a  covenant  of  life  with 
him,  suspending  justification  for  himself  and  his  pos- 
terity as  his  constituents  upon  his  perfect  obedience 
during  a  limited  time  of  trial.  In  the  one  case  he 
was  created  a  federal  head  because  he  was  created  a 
parental  head,  the  representative  relation  being  no 
more  than  is  involved  in  the  parental.  In  the  other, 
he  was  not  created  a  federal  head  and  representative, 
but,  by  a  free  act  from  wdiich  his  IMaker  might  have 
abstained,  was  appointed  and  constituted  the  bearer 
of  that  transcendently  responsible  office.  It  is  plain 
that,  according  to  the  Evangelical  Arminian  theology, 
Adam  was  in  no  other  sense  a  federal  head  and  legal 
representative  than  as  he  was  the  parental  head  of  the 
human  race.  The  relation  he  sustained  was  that  of 
mere  parental  headship  with  such  responsibilities  and 
consequences  as  it  naturally  involves.  Accordingly, 
I  shall  endeavor  to  show  that  such  a  relation  will  not 
bear  the  strain  that  is  put  upon  it. 

First,  Evangelical  Arminian  theologians  them- 
selves, as  we  have  seen, 'explicitly  acknowledge  the 
fact  that  the  visitation  upon  the  race  of  the  bitter 
consequences  of  Adam's  sin,  merely  in  virtue  of  their 
relation  to  him  as  a  parental  head,  cannot  be  recon- 
ciled with  our  conceptions  of  the  divine  justice.  In 
itself  considered,  such  a  constitution  would  have  been 
unjust.  In  order  to  its  having  been  adopted  as  a  part 
of  the  divine  scheme  of  government  it  was  necessary 
that  its  intrinsic  injustice  should  be  destroyed  by  an 
extrinsic  connection  with  a  purpose  of  redemption  in 
consequence  of  which  the  damage  done  by  the  Fall 

226     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

should  be  amply  repaired.  Taken  by  itself,  then,  the 
parental  headship  of  Adam,  as  foreknown  to  issue  in 
the  fall  of  the  race,  is  confessed  by  Evangelical  Arniin- 
ians  themselves  to  be  incapable  of  being  hrirmonized 
with  justice.  But  it  has  in  these  remarks  been  al- 
ready shown  that  its  connection  with  a  redeeming 
purpose  does  not  relieve  this  difficulty.  It  is  not  vin- 
dicated from  the  charge  of  inherent  injustice  by  its 
association  with  the  purpose  of  God  to  provide  re- 
demption. If,  therefore,  according  to  the  admission  of 
its  advocates,  the  constitution  by  which  Adam  was 
made  the  parental  head  of  the  race  was  intrinsically 
unjust,  it  is  impossible  by  an  appeal  to  it  to  establish 
the  justice  of  God  in  inflicting  the  results  of  his  sin 
upon  them.  The  difficulty  raised  by  our  intuition  of 
justice  instead  of  being  met  is  aggravated.  A  pro- 
cedure confessed  to  have  been  unjust  is  vindicated  by  an 
unjust  constitution  in  which  it  originated!  Arminians 
themselves  being  judges,  the  mere  parental  headship 
of  Adam  will  not  carry  the  weight  imposed  upon  it. 

Secondly,  It  is  one  of  the  curious  inconsistencies  of 
Evangelical  Arminian  divines  that,  having  acknowl- 
edged the  injustice  of  the  constitution  involving  the 
race  in  responsibility  for  the  sin  of  Adam  their  par- 
ental head  conceived  apart  from  the  purpose  of  God 
to  redeem  them,  they  proceed  to  illustrate  the  justice 
of  that  constitution  by  citing  the  analogous  case  of 
the  ordinary  parental  relation  and  its  consequences 
upon  children.  They  affirm  that  it  is  at  one  and  the 
same  time  intrinsically  unjust  and  intrinsically  just. 
The  soundest  exponents  of  the  Evangelical  Arminian 
system  maintain  that  the  sufferings  entailed  upon 
Adam's  posterity  by  his  sin  are  in  their  nature  penal. 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  227 

They  are  not  mere  calamities;  they  are_^punishments. 
Temporal  death,  spiritual  death,  liability  to  eternal 
(^eath,— these,  they  justly  contend,  are  not  to  be  re- 
garded as  simply  our  misfortune.  They  are  in  some 
sense  the  results  of  our  own  fault— we  have,  in  some 
way,  deserved  them.  The  Pelagianizing  utterances 
of  such  writers  as  Miner  Raymond,  who  scouts  this 
view,  cannot  by  a  candid  critic  be  considered  as  rep- 
resentative of  Evangelical  Arminianism  even  in  its 
present  attitude.  If  they  are,  it  is  not  the  system  of 
Wesley,  Fletcher  and  Watson:  it  is  far  gone  from 
that  system. 

Now,  it  is  a  fundamental  principle  of  God's  moral 
government  that  none  but  the  guilty  are  held  liable 
to  punishment.     Before  one  can  be  justly  punished  it 
must  be  proved  that  he  did  some  wrong  act,  or  is  the 
culpable  author  of  some  wrong  disposition  inherent 
in  him.      Before  he  can  share  another's  punishment, 
he  must  have  shared  the  other's  fault:  he  must,   in 
some    sense,    be    justly    held    as   particeps   criminis. 
This  is  a  principle  of  human  law,  and  in  that  regard 
it  reflects  the  divine.      In  what  sense,  then,  are  chil- 
dren now  the  sharers  of  their  parents'   acts?     They 
are  different  persons  from   them,  and  therefore  their 
personality  cannot  be  considered  as  merged  into  that 
of  their  parents.     The  acts  on  account  of  which  they 
suffer  may   have  been    committed    before  they  were 
born.     They    could    not    therefore    have    consciously 
joined  in  their  performance.      Their  parents  are  not, 
strictly  speaking,  their  legal  representatives,  so  that 
their  acts,  although  not  consciously  and  subjectively, 
would  yet  be  legally,  representatively,  putatively,  the 
acts  of^  their  children.     These  suppositions  exhaust 

228      Calinnisni  and  EvauQ-cIical  Anninianism 


the  possibilities  in  the  case,  and  as  neither  of  them  is 
true,  it  follows  that  children  do  not  share  the  guilt  of 
their  parents,  and  therefore  cannot  be  justly  punished 
for  it.  They  suffer  on  account  of  the  evil  deeds  of 
their  parents.  That  fact  is  announced  in  the  Deca- 
logue, and  abundantly  established  by  the  ordinary 
course  of  providence;  and  in  view  of  it  the  respon- 
sibilities of  parents  are  seen  to  be  nothing  less 
than  tremendous.  But  these  sufferings  are  not  pun- 
ishments; they  are  calamities,  except  in  cases  in 
which  the  children  imitate  the  wickedness  of  their 
parents,  and  so  by  their  own  conscious  and  voluntary 
acts  make  their  parents'  guilt  their  own.  When  they 
incur  the  guilt  they  deserve  the  punishment.  Until 
then  their  sufferings  are  not  penal.  The  sufferings 
of  an  infant  in  its  cradle  cannot  be  regarded  as  penal 
inflictions  for  the  sins  of  its  immediate  parents. 

This  important  distinction  between  punishment 
and  calamity  is  distinctly  asserted  by  God  himself 
in  his  Word.  He  commanded  Moses  to  embody  this 
provision  in  his  code :  "The  fathers  shall  not  be  put 
to  death  for  the  children  ;  neither  shall  the  children 
be  put  to  death  for  the  fathers :  every  man  shall  be 
put  to  death  for  his  own  sin."^  Accordingly,  we  are 
told  that  when  Amaziah,  the  son  of  Joash,  king  of 
Judah  ascended  the  throne,  he  put  to  death  the  men 
who  had  murdered  his  father,  but  remembering  the 
divine  law  he  did  not  inflict  the  same  doom  upon 
their  children.  The  record  is  as  follows:  "And  it 
came  to  pass,  as  soon  as  the  kingdom  was  confirmed 
in  his  hand,  that  he  slew  his  servants  which  had 
slain  the  kimr  his  father.     But  the  children  of  the 

Deut.  xxiv.  i6. 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  229 

murderers  he  slew  not  :   according  to  that  which   is 
written  in  the  book  of  the  law  of  IMoses,  wherein  the 
Lord  commanded,  saying,   The  fathers  shall  not  be 
pnt  to  death  for  the  children,  nor  the  children  be  put 
to  death  for  the  fathers  :  but  every  man  shall  be  pnt 
to  death  for  his  own  sin."  ^     The  same  x^rinciple  of 
procedure  is  affirmed    in    the  eighteenth  chapter  of 
Ezekiel  :   "What  mean   ye,  that  ye  use  this  proverb 
concerning   the  land  of  Israel,  saying.   The  fathers 
have  eaten  sour  grapes,  and  the  children's  teeth  are 
set  on  edge?     As  I  live,  saith  the  Lord  God,  ye  shall 
not  have  occasion   any   more   to  use  this   proverb  in 
Israel.      Behold,    all  souls  are   mine  ;  as  the  soul  of 
the  father,  so  also  the  soul  of  the  son  is  mine:  the 
soul  that  sinneth,  it  shall  die."     If  a  righteous  man, 
continues    the   Lord    by   the  mouth  of   the   prophet, 
beget  a  son  who  doeth  wickedly,  the  son  shall   bear 
his^  own  iniquity  ;  he  shall  surely  die.      If  a  wicked 
man  have  a  son  who  doeth  righteously,   he  shall  not 
bear  the  iniquity  of  his  father  ;  he  sliall  surely  live. 
"Yet   ye   say.   The   way   of  the    Lord  is  not  equal. 
Hear  now,  O  house  of  Israel  :  Is  not  my  way  equal? 
Are  not  your  ways  unequal?"     Here  the  equity  of 
the  divine  administration  is  asserted  because  it  pro- 
ceeds upon  the  principle  that  every  man  is  rewarded 
or  punished    for   his    own  conduct.      No  one  suffers 
penally  because   of  his  father's  sins.      His  teeth  are 
not   set  on  edge  because  his  father  ate  sour  grapes, 
but  thev  are  set  on  edge  because  he  himself  has  eaten 
sour  grapes. 

The  conclusion  from  this  argument  is  that,  if  it  be 
a   principle  of  the  divine  government  that  children 

1  2  Kiui^s  xiv.  5,  6. 

230     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

are  not  dealt  with  retributively  and  punitively  for  the 
sins  of- their  parents,  it  follows  that  Adam's  children 
could  not  be  justly  punished  for  his  sin,  on  the  sup- 
position that  he  was  merely  their  parental  head. 
Either,  then,  we  must  give  up  the  alleged  analogy 
between  Adam's  relation  to  his  posterity  and  that  of 
ordinary  parents  to  their  children,  or,  maintaining 
that  analogy,  we  must  charge  God  with  an  unjust 
deviation  from  the  principles  of  his  moral  govern- 
ment in  punishing  Adam's  children,  for  the  sin  of 
one  wdio  was  simply  a  parental  head.  No  one  who 
fears  God  can  hesitate  as  to  the  choice  between  these 
alternatives.  He  is  shut  up  to  the  conclusion  that  as 
Adam's  children  are  punished  for  his  sin,  he  could 
not  have  been  merely  a  parental  head.  He  must  have 
sustained  to  them  another  and  different  relation.  Of 
course  this  argument  will  have  no  force  with  one  who 
adheres  to  the  analogy  and  at  the  same  time  denies 
the  penal  character  of  men's  inherited  sufferings. 
But  as  the  Evangelical  Arminian  of  the  old  school  is 
not  a  Pelagian,  it  has  a  powerful  bearing  upon  his 

Let  it  be  distinctly  understood  that  in  contending 
against  the  view  that  children  are  punitively  dealt 
with  for  the  sins  of  their  parents,  it  is  not  intended 
to  say  that  their  sufferings  are  in  no  sense  penal.  It 
is  not  conceivable  that  under  a  perfectly  just  govern- 
ment any  moral  agent  could  suffer  unless  his  suffering 
be  in  the  first  instance,  in  some  sense,  penal.  Men 
are  not  punished  for  the  sins  of  their  immediate  pa- 
jrents,  how  much  soever  they  may  suffer  for  them;  but 
Ithey  are  punished  for  the  sin  of  Adam,  and  hence  the 
I  conclusion  is   that  he  must  liave  been   more   than   a 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice,  231 

father.  i\s  to  those  Anninian  writers  who  boldly 
take  the  infidel  position  that  no  man  is  pnnished  for 
the  sin  of  Adam,  it  is  enough  to  press  the  question, 
How,  then,  under  the  government  of  a  just  God  are 
men  born  to  suffering  at  all  ?  How  is  it  that  infants 
suffer?  Even  if  the  ground  be  taken  that  those  in- 
fants who  are  regenerated  and  die  in  infancy  are  in 
some  inexplicable  way  disciplined  through  suffering 
for  glor>',  wliat  becomes  of  the  case  of  those  who  live 
to  adult  age,  and  die  unregenerate,  who  suffer  in  in- 
fancy, suffer  in  mature  age  and  suffer  in  hell  forever? 
Were  their  sufferings  in  infancy  disciplinary  ?  To  say 
tliat  suffering  is  natural,  that  is,  that  it  is  the  legiti- 
mate result  of  an  original,  natural  constitution,  is  to 
impeach  alike  the  justice  and  the  benevolence  of  God. 
The  sufferings  of  all  men  partake  of  a  penal  charac- 
ter until  they  are  by  grace  made  spiritual  children  of 
God  and  justified  through  the  merits  of  the  sinner's 
atoning  Substitute.  Punishment  then  is  changed 
into  discipline — the  Judge  gives  way  to  the  Father. 
But  as  the  argument  is  not  with  Pelagians  and  skep- 
tics, but  with  those  who  profess  to  be  evangelical,  no 
more  needs  to  be  said  upon  this  particular  point. 

Thirdly,  The'  theory  that  Adam  was  simply  a 
parental  head  of  mankind,  only  responsible  for  such 
consequences  in  regard  to  them  as  that  relation 
carries  with  it,  makes  it  necessary  to  hold  that  guilt 
and  corruption  were  derived  from  him  to  them  by 
propagation  through  the  generative  channel.  The 
principle  of  derivation  is  that  like  begets  like.  There 
are  insuperable  difficulties  in  the  way  of  that  doctrine. 
In  tlie  first  place,  it  is  impossible  to  prove  that  legal 
guilt  and  moral  qualities  are  transmitted  by  propaga- 

232     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

tion  from  father  to  son.  The  theory  involves  a  doc- 
trine which  is  unsusceptible  of  proof.  It  is  conse- 
quently an  inadequate  account  of  the  relation  between 
the  leo^al  o-niltiness  and  moral  state  of  Adam's  de- 
scendants  on  the  one  hand  and  his  sinful  act  on  the 
other.  In  the  second  place,  if  the  supposition  of 
propagation  be  admitted,  no  proof  of  its  justice  can 
be  furnished.  How  was  it  grounded?  Why  did 
Adam  propagate  a  guilty  and  corrupt  progeny?  Are 
his  children's  teeth  set  on  edge,  because  he  as  their 
father  ate  sour  grapes?  The  soul  that  sinneth,  it 
shall  die.  But,  according  to  Arminians,  infants 
could  not  have  committed  Adam's  sinful  act,  and 
they  cannot  consciously  sin.  Still,  they  are  admitted 
to  be  at  birth,  by  virtue  of  their  relation  to  their  first 
father,  guilty  and  depraved,  and  they  actually  suffer 
and  die.  Their  teeth  are  set  on  ^^%^^  but  they  did 
not  eat  sour  grapes.  In  the  third  place,  if  the  theory 
of  propagation  be  true,  how  comes  it  to  pass  that  all 
Adam's  sins  have  not  entailed  their  baleful  conse- 
quences upon  his  posterity?  It  is  admitted  that  they 
are  affected  by  only  his  first  sin.  How  is  this  limita- 
tion to  be  accounted  for?  Will  it,  with  Thomas 
Aquinas,  be  said  that  only  the  first  sin  corrupts  the 
nature,  and  on  the  contrary  all  subsequent  sins  of 
Adam  and  of  all  his  posterity  only  the  person  ?^  This 
would  be  an  appeal  to  the  theory  of  Numerical  Iden- 
tity of  nature  in  Adam  and  his  descendants,  and  tliat 
theory  the  Evangelical  Arminian  rejects  ;  and  besides 
he  concedes  the  personal  responsibility  of  men  for 
Adam's  fall.     That  explanation,   therefore,   will   not 

^Summa,  ii.,  i.  qu.  81,  art.  2,  as  quoted  by  Miiller,  Ouis.  Dod. 
Sin,  ^T>1.  ii.,  p.  372, 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  233 

answer.  Will  it  be  said,  that,  although  the  fallen 
nature  is  propagated  and  without  special  divine 
action  would  carry  with  it  the  consequences  of  other 
sins  of  Adam  than  the  first,  it  pleased  God  to  limit 
the  imputation  of  guilt  to  the  first  sin?  The  reply 
would  be,  that  the  supposition,  upon  the  mere  theory 
of  propagation,  is  inadmissible.  For,  wherever  there 
is  sin,  it  involves  guilt,  and  the  non-imputation  of 
the  guilt  would,  under  a  just  government,  be  impos- 
sible, without  atonement  made  for  it  after  it  had  been 
incurred.  Upon  this  theory,  it  would  be  as  illegiti- 
mate to  suppose  the  non-imputation  of  the  guilt  of 
other  sins  than  the  first  to  the  propagated  guilty  and 
corrupt  nature,  as  to  suppose  the  non-imputation  of  the 
guilt  of  other  sins  than  his  first  to  Adam  personally. 
Will  it  be  said,  that  the  limitation  of  imputed  guilt  to 
the  first  sin  is  to  be  referred  to  the  federal  constitution  ? 
The  answer  would  be,  that  the  explanation  would  be 
borrowed  from  a  theory  of  strictly  legal  representa- 
tion, different  from  and  superadded  to  parental  re- 
presentation, which  is  rejected  by  the  Evangelical 
Arminian.  This  appeal  would  therefore  be  to  him 
incompetent  In  the  fourth  place,  if  the  theory  of 
propagation  were  true  it  would  follow  that  Adam 
when  reijenerated  would  have  beootten  res^enerate 
children.  But  such  a  position  is  not  maintained 
even  by  its  advocates.  If  in  order  to  remove  this 
difficulty  the  ground  be  taken  that  the  nature  is  pro- 
pagated according  to  the  original  type  and  that  is 
sinful,  the  reply  is,  as  Dr.  Thorn  well  has  suggested, 
that  the  original  type,  that  is,  in  the  first  instance, 
was  holy,  and  a  holy  nature  ought  therefore  to  be 

234     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

Fourthly,  The  theory  of  the  mere  parental  headship 
of  Adam  cannot  be  adjusted  to  the  analogy,  clearly 
taught  in  Scripture,  between  the  first  Adam  and  the 
second.  The  first  is  declared  to  have  been  a  figure  or 
t\'pe  of  the  second;  "not  that  he  was,"  as  John  Owen 
profoundly  observes,  "an  instituted  type ^  ordained  for 
that  only  end  and  purpose,  but  only  that  in  what  he 
was,  and  what  he  did,  with  what  followed  thereupon, 
there  was  a  resemblance  between  him  and  Jesus 
Christ."^  The  meaning  is  that  the  principle  upon 
which  the  first  Adam  stood  related  to  his  posterity  is 
the  same  with  that  which  grounded  the  relation  of  the 
second  to  his  seed, — they  both  acted  in  accordance 
with  the  principle  of  representation.  As  condemnation 
passed  upon  Adam's  posterity  on  account  of  his  disobe- 
dience, so  justification  passed  upon  Christ's  posterity 
on  account  of  his  obedience.  This  is  clear,  and  it  is 
admitted  by  both  parties  to  this  question.  Now,  if 
condemnation  came  upon  Adam's  seed  because  he  as 
their  father  sinned,  it  would  follow  that  justification 
comes  upon  Christ's  seed  because  he  as  their  father 
obeyed.  The  principle  must  be  the  same  in  both 
cases,  or  the  analogy  is  destroyed.  Was  it  parental 
headship  which  in  Adam's  case  grounded  the  justice 
of  condemnation?  So  must  it  be  parental  headship 
which  in  Christ's  case  grounds  the  justice  of  justifica- 
tion. But  neither  Calvinist  nor  Arminian  takes  that 
view  of  justification.  Both  hold  that  while  it  is  true 
that  Christ's  people  are  born  of  him  by  his  Spirit,  and 
so  holiness  is  communicated  to  them,  it  is  also  true 
that  justification  is  derived  from  him  in  another  way. 
He  did  not  as  a  merely  parental  head  secure  justifica- 
^  WorJzs,  Goold's  Ed.,  vol.   lo,  p.  353. 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  235 

tion,  but  as  a  representative  and  substitute  in  law. 
But  if  Christ  was,  strictly  speaking,  a  legal  represen- 
tative and  not  merely  a  parental  head,  so  must  Adam 
have  been,  or  the  analogy  between  them  breaks  down. 

Further,  if  it  be  contended — as  it  is  by  Watson — 
that  as  Adam  was  a  parental  head,  so  Christ  is  a  spir- 
itual head— as  the  former  was  a  natural  parent,  so  the 
latter  is  a  spiritual  parent,  it  would  follow  from  the 
analogy  that  justification  can  only  flow  from  Christ  to 
his  spiritual  children.  And  as  Evangelical  Arminians 
do  not  hold  that  all  men  are  regenerate  and  therefore 
Christ's  spiritual  children,  justification  could  not  have 
been  secured  for  all  men.  They  are  thus  reduced  to 
self-contradiction.  If  they  deny  that  all  men  are  thq 
spiritual  children  of  Christ,  they  deny  that  jnstifica-f 
tion  was  secured  for  all  men,  and  thus  admit  the  Cal- 
vinistic  doctrine  of  particular  atonement.  If  they 
affirm  that  all  men  are  the  spiritual  children  of  Christ, 
just  as  all  men  are  naturally  the  children  of  Adam, 
they  deny  their  own  doctrine  of  the  necessity  of  the 
new  birth,  their  own  admission  that  all  men  are  not 
actually  born  again,  and  the  indubitable  testimony  of 
Scripture.  To  say  that  the  heathen  are  all  regener- 
ate is  to  gainsay  the  Bible  and  fact  alike.  It  is  clear 
that  the  Arminian  doctrine  of  the  parental  headship 
of  Adam  will  not  square  with  the  facts  of  Christ's 
case,  and  therefore  cannot  be  adjusted  to  the  scrip- 
tural account  of  the  analogy  between  the  first  and  the 
second  Adam. 

Fifthly,  A  decisive  consideration  is,  that  upon  the 
Evangelical  Arminian  theory  neither  Adam  nor  his 
descendants  could  ever  have  been  justified.  It  is  not 
here  intended  to  dcnv  that  if  God  had  been  pleased 

236     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

to  enter  into  a  covenant  with  Adam  as  an  individual, 
apart  from  a  representative  relation  to  his  posterity, 
in  which  he  promised  him  life  upon  condition  of  per- 
fect obedience  for  a  limited  time  of  trial,  he  might 
have  attained  to  justification.  Nor  is  it  impossible 
to  suppose  that  God  may,  had  he  pleased,  have  entered 
into  a  similar  covenant  with  each  individual  of  his 
posterity,  in  which  case  each  would  have  stood  upon 
his  own  foot  and  have  had  the  opportunity  of  secur- 
ing justification.  On  either  of  these  suppositions, 
the  principle  of  representation  would  have  been  ex- 
cluded, and  that  of  individual  probation  employed. 
God  was  not  pleased  to  adopt  this  mode  of  dealing 
with  Adam  or  his  descendants.  He  collected  all  the 
'individuals  of  the  race  into  unity  upon  the  first  man 
jappointed  as  their  federal  head  and  legal  represent- 
jative,  embraced  them  with  him  in  a  common  proba- 
|tion,  and  promised  to  him  and  to  them  in  him  justifi- 
cation upon  condition  of  his  perfect  obedience  for  a 
specified  and  definite  period.  If  it  be  supposed  that 
neither  of  these  methods  of  procedure  was  employed 
in  relation  to  the  first  man  and  his  descendants,  the 
impossibility  of  justification  would  be  conceded.  If 
a  special  covenant  arrangement  did  not  limit  the  time 
of  obedience,  the  naked,  unmodified  demand  of  mere 
law  would  have  been  in  force.  The  consequence 
would  necessarily  have  resulted,  that  no  point  in  the 
endless  existence  of  the  subject  of  law  could  have 
been  reached  at  which  he  could  have  appeared  before 
God  saying,  I  have  finished  the  obedience  assig-ned 
me  and  ask  for  my  reward.  The  answer  to  such  a 
claim,  were  it  supposable,  would  inevitably  be.  Thou 
hast   an    immortality  of  obedience  yet   before    thee, 

Objection  f^oj.'i  Divi)ic  Justice.  237 

with  the  possibility  of  a  fall.  Ml  justification,  in  tlie 
proper,  scriptural  sense  of  the  term,  can  be  conceived 
as  possible  except  upon  the  ground  of  a  completed 
obedience  ;  and  as  no  obedience  can  be  completed  un- 
less there  be  a  definite  limitation  of  the  time  in  which 
it  is  to  be  offered,  a  theory  which  throws  out  of  ac- 
count such  limitation  fails  to  provide  for  the  possi- 
bility of  justification.  Now  the  Evangelical  Arminiau 
theory  is  open  to  this  fatal  objection.  It  makes  no 
mention  of  a  limitation  of  the  time  of  obedience  even 
in  regard  to  Adam  personally  considered,  and  it  de- 
nies that  his' descendants  had  a  strict,  legal  probation 
in  him.  Suppose  then — and  the  supposition  is  legiti- 
mated by  the  doctrine  of  a  mere  permission  of  the 
Fall — that  Adam  had  stood  in  integrity  and  were 
standing  in  integrity  now,  how  could  he  have  been 
justified?  Perpetual  obedience  with  its  accompanying- 
contingency  of  fall  would  be  his  duty  still  as  it  was 
his  duty  at  first.  Of  course,  too,  there  would  be  no 
justification  of  his  posterity  in  an  unjustified  head. 
To  say  that  his  righteousness,  although  incomplete 
and  defectible,  might  be  imputed  to  them,  or  accrue 
to  their  benefit,  would  be  very  far  froni  saying  that 
they  would  be  justified  on  its  account.  As  it  could 
not  ground  his  justification,  it  could  not  theirs. 

This  consideration  is  specially  illuminated  in  the 
light  of  the  scriptural  analogy  between  Christ  and 
Adam.  The  time  of  Christ's  obedience  was  limited. 
He  declared  that  he  had  twelve  hours  in  which  to 
walk  and  that  he  must  work  the  works  of  him  that 
sent  him  while  it  was  day:  the  night  was  coming  in 
which  no  man  could  work.  Accordingly  when  he 
had  completed   his   obedience,    l.e  triumphantly   ex- 

238     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism, 

claimed  amidst  his  dying  agonies,  "It  is  finished." 
Not  only,  therefore,  was  he  jnstified  from  the  volun- 
tarily assumed  and  imputed  guilt  of  his  people's  in- 
iquities which  were  laid  upon  him,  but  his  finished 
righteousness  was  capable  of  being  imputed  to  his 
seed  and  of  constituting  the  ground  of  their  justifica- 
tion. It  is  too  obvious  to  need  pressing  that  if  iVdam's 
case  was  parallel  to  that  of  Christ,  the  time  of  his 
probationary  obedience  must  have  been  limited  to 
condition  the  possibility  of  his  justification  and  that 
of  his  seed.  The  Evangelical  Arminian  theory  con- 
tains no  such  element  and  therefore  signally  breaks 

The  ways,  in  which  Evangelical  Arminian  theolo- 
gians endeavor  to  vindicate  God's  justice  in  the  con- 
stitution by  virtue  of  which  the  consequences  of 
Adam's  first  sin  are  entailed  upon  his  race,  have  thus 
been  subjected  to  examination  and  their  insufficiency 
has  been  exhibited. 

The  question  now  is,  What,  according  to  the  Cal- 
vinistic  conception,  is  the  scriptural  method  of  recon- 
ciling the  implication  of  the  race  in  the  consequences 
of  Adam's  first  sin  with  the  justice  of  God  ?  And  let 
it  be  borne  in  mind  that  this  question  is  subordinate 
to  the  ultimate  one  which  is  under  consideration — 
namely,  whether  the  Calvinistic  doctrines  of  election 
and  reprobation  are,  as  charged,  inconsistent  with  the 
divine  justice. 

Both  parties  to  the  question  in  hand  admit  the  ex- 
istence of  an  Adamic  covenant:  a  federal  transaction 
of  some  sort  is  conceded.  The  Calvinistic  doctrine 
involves  these  elements:  That,  under  the  Covenant 
of  Works,  God  appointed  Adam  a  legal  representative 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  239 

of  his  posterity  ;  that  lie  and  they  were  one  in  law  ; 
that  his  acts  were  legally  and  representatively  their 
acts,  on  the  principle  that  what  one  does  by  a  repre- 
sentative he  himself  does;  that  justification,  that  is, 
confirmation  in  holiness  and  happiness,  was  promised 
to  Adam  and  his  posterity  on  condition  of  his  perfect 
obedience  for  a  limited  time,  and  death  was  threatened 
in  the  event  of  disobedience;  and  that  as  a  conse- 
quence of  all  this  mankind  had  their  legal  probation 
in  Adam,  so  that  had  he  stood  and  been  justified  they 
would  in  him  have  stood  and  been  justified,  and  as  he 
fell  and  was  condemned  they  in  him  fell  and  were 
condemned.  In  support  of  this  doctrine  the  follow- 
ing considerations  are  submitted  : 

First,  The  fact  being  admitted  by  Evangelical  Ar- 
tninians  of  a  covenant  with  Adam  which  included  his 
posterity,  so  that  they  are  involved  in  the  consequences 
pertaining  to  his  first  sin,  it  follows  that  if,  as  has 
been  shown,  parental  headship  implying  only  such 
federal  responsibilities  as  it  is  conceived  to  carry  with 
it  naturally  and  necessarily  was  not,  and  could  not 
consistently  with  justice  have  been,  the  relation  be- 
tween the  first  man  and  his  descendants  which 
grounded  their  judicial  condemnation  and  penal  suf- 
ferings, that  relation  must  have  been  one  subsisting 
between  him  as  a  strictly  legal  representative  and 
them  as  his  legal  constituents.  This  is  the  only  other 
alternative  which  is  admissible.  The  conceded  fed- 
eral principle  rules  out  the  theory  of  a  numerical 
identity  between  Adam  and  his  posterity.  Upon  that 
theory  a  federal  relation  would  have  been  a  superfluity. 
As  each  man  came  into  individual  existence  he  would 
be  chargeable  not  with  Adam's  sin  imputed  to  him, 

240      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

but  with  a  sin  subjectively  and  tlierefore  strictly  and 
properly  his  own.  This  would  be  to  upset  the  paral- 
lelism asserted  by  Paul  between  Adam  and  Christ.  As 
numerical  identity  is  grounded  in  nature,  the  analogy 
would  require  the  identity  of  all  men  w-ith  Christ,  as 
well  as  with  Adam.  Human  nature  obeyed  in  Christ 
as  it  disobeyed  in  Adam.  As  the  sin  of  the  nature  is 
imputed  to  it  on  the  one  hand,  so  on  the  other  would 
be  its  righteousness.  As  all  men  are  thus  justly  con- 
demned, all  men  would  thus  with  equal  justice  be 
justified.  But  it  is  absurd  to  say  that  human  nature, 
that  is,  all  men,  subjectively  wrought  righteousness 
in  Christ;  and  it  would  be  almost  as  absurd  to  say 
that  his  seed  subjectively  obeyed  in  him.  It  is  plain 
that  the  righteousness  of  Christ  is  imputed  upon  a 
totally  different  principle.  So,  the  analogy  holding, 
must  the  sin  of  Adam.  It  is  evident  that  the  theory 
of  numerical  identity  is  inconsistent  with  the  federal 
principle.  The  same  is  true  of  the  hypothesis  of  an 
ante-mundane  existence  in  which  every  human  being 
fell  from  an  estate  of  holiness  by  his  own  individual 
sin.  If  we  adopt  the  supposition  of  a  covenant  be- 
tween God  and  Adam,  we  w^ould  seem  to  be  shut  up 
to  an  election  between  the  doctrine  of  parental  head- 
ship and  that  of  strict  legal  representation. 

Secondly,  The  analogy  between  Christ  and  Adam 
proves  that  our  first  parent  must  have  been  the  legal 
representative  of  his  seed.  The  relation  which  he 
sustained  to  his  posterity,  grounding  their  implication 
in  his  act,  must,  as  to  the  principle  involved,  have 
been  like  that  which  Christ  bears  to  his  seed;  other- 
wise the  analogy  would  be  destroyed.  Now,  was 
Christ  a  legal  representative  of  his  people? 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  241 

The  animals   which   were  sacrificed   under  the  old 
dispensation    were    legal    substitutes    for    the^  guilty 
persons    for   whom    they    were    offered,  that  is,   they 
legally    represented    the    worshippers    who  presented 
them.     They  typified  Christ  the  Lamb  of  God  who 
was  offered  a  sacrifice  to  satisfy  divine  justice  for  sin- 
ners.    It  is  certainly  the  representative  and  not  the 
parental   relation   which   here  comes  into  view.      In 
Galatians    Paul  declares:   "Christ  hath  redeemed   us 
from  the  curse  of  the  law,  beingniade  a  curse  for  us. "  ' 
In  2  Corinthians  he  enounces  the  same  great  truth  of 
legal  substitution:     "He  hath  made  him  who  knew 
no  sin  to  be  sin  for  us,  that  we  might  be  made  the 
righteousness   of  God  in  him."'     Peter  clearly  sets 
forth  the  same  fact:     "  He  bore  our  sins  in  his  own 
body  on  the  tree."     It  is  needless  to  urge  the  consid- 
eration that  these  apostolic  statements  could  not  have 
been  true  of  Christ  as  a  parental  head,  but  are  true  of 
him  as  a  legal  representative.     It  is  indeed  admitted 
that  they  hold  good  of  him  as  a  legal  substitute;  but 
there  is  no  difference  in  principle  between  a  substitute 
and  a  representative.      In  Galatians   Paul   says:     "I 
am  crucified  with  Christ."  "^     The  chief  sense  in  which 
these  words  are  to  be  taken  is  the  representative.      He 
discusses,  in  that  passage,  the  doctrine  of  justification 
and  not  of  sanctification.      Hence  he  could  not  have 
onlv  meant  to  say,  I  deny  myself  with  Christ.      It  is 
true  that  he  who  has  died  federally  and  representa- 
tively with  Christ  to  the  guilt  of  sin  will  so  live  with 
him  as  to  die  more  and  more  to   its  power,  and  Paul 
asserts  that  truth;  but  in  the  words  cited,  if  regard  be 
had  to  the  connection  in  which  they  are  used,  primary 

Mii.  13.  2^'.  21.  ''ii.  20. 


242     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Aiminianisni. 

reference  is  made  by  the  apostle  to  tlie  representative 
relation.  In  2  Corinthians  the  same  apostle  says  : 
"The  love  of  Christ  constraineth  ns;  becanse  we  thus 
judge,  that  if  one  died  for  all,  then  all  died;'"  for 
that  is  the  true  and  now  the  generally  admittted  ren- 
derinof  of  the  words  translated,  "  then  were  all  dead." 
How  could  all  die  in  one  except  representatively? 
Myriads  of  believers  died  before,  and  myriads  were 
not  born  until  after,  Christ  died.  The  great  fact  is 
here  affirmed  that  the  death  of  a  representative  is 
legally  and  constructively  the  death  of  those  whom  he 
represented.  Those,  therefore,  who  thus  died  with 
Christ  died  under  the  sentence  of  a  condemning  law, 
that  is,  died  penally,  and  so  cannot  justly  die  again  in 
that  way;  and  having  so  died,  the  legal  difficulties 
which  lay  in  the  path  of  acceptable  obedience  to  God 
are  removed,  and  the  motives  to  a  life  of  holiness  are 
impressively  enforced.  Paul  says  again:  "If  ye  be 
risen  with  Christ."  ^  If  believers  died  representatively 
with  Christ,  they  rose  representatively  with  him. 
There  is  also  a  spiritual  resurrection,  but  there  was  a 
federal,  as  there  will  be  a  bodily.  And  if  they  died 
and  rose  representatively  with  him,  they  were  repre- 
sentatively justified  with  him,  when  God  the  Father 
having  raised  him  from  the  dead,  on  the  ground  of 
distributive  justice,  acquitted  him  of  all  imputed  guilt, 
formally  approved  his  righteousness,  and  published  to 
the  universe  his  desert  of  the  reward  stipulated  by  the 
covenant — the  everlasting  life  of  his  seed. 

But  if  Christ  was  the  legal  representative  of  his 
seed,  so  must  Adam  have  been  of  his.  The  passage 
which  settles  that  is  the  one  in  the  fifth  chapter  of 

W.  14.  '^  Col.  iii.   I. 

Ohjcclion  J'ro/n  Diinnc  Justice.  243 

Romans,  from  the  twelfth  verse  to  the  end.  Tliere 
the  relation  of  the  disobedience  of  Adam  to  the  con- 
demnation and  death  of  his  posterity  is  declared  to 
be  analogous  to  that  of  the  obedience  of  Christ  to  the 
justification  and  life  of  his  seed.  But  Christ  in  ren- 
dering obedience  to  the  divine  law  acted  as  a  legal 
representative  ;  so  consequently  must  Adam  in  com- 
mitting his  act  of  disobedience.  It  follows,  that,  if 
Adam  had  stood  during  his  time  of  trial  and  been 
justified,  all  his  posterity  would  have  been  represent- 
atively justified  in  him — that  is,  they  would  by  the 
divine  sentence  have  been  adjudged  to  confirmation 
in  holiness  and  happiness.  In  that  case  his  right- 
eousness would  have  been  imputed  to  his  descendants, 
just  as  Christ's  righteousness  is  now  imputed  to  his 
people.  Natural  birth  would  have  designated  the 
parties  upon  whom  his  merit  would  have  terminated, 
as  now  spiritual  birth  indicates  the  parties  upon 
whom  the  merit  of  Christ  takes  effect.  But  Adam 
fell,  and  his  guilt  is  imputed  to  his  seed.  Instead  of 
attaining  justification  in  him,  they  fell  with  him  into 
condemnation.  In  these  respects  the  cases  of  the  first 
and  second  Adam  are  parallel.  It  is  the  principle  of 
strict  federal  representation  which  stamps  the  charac- 
ter of  each  case. 

Thirdly,  If  we  are  at  all  warranted,  touching  this 
matter,  in  appealing  to  the  ordinary  course  of  provi- 
dence and  the  general  judgment  of  men,  we  must 
resort  not  to  the  parental,  but  the  representative,  rela- 
tion. We  never  judge  that  a  child  is,  strictly  speak- 
ingr  well-deservincr  or  ill-deservino-  on  account  of  his 
parents'  acts.  If  his  father  has  perpetrated  a  crime, 
while  we  may  feel  that  his  child  justly  suffers  in  con- 

244     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

sequence  of  it,  we  do  not  pronounce  him  culpable. 
As  in  no  sense  lie  did  the  act,  he  is  in  no  sense  blame- 
worthy. If  one  have  committed  murder,  shame  and 
obloquy  attach  to  his  child,  but  who  w^ould  say  that 
he  was  guilty  of  his  father's  crime?  If  he  were  he 
would  deserve  to  be  hanged.  Such,  however,  is 
neither  the  judgment  nor  the  custom  of  mankind. 
But  if  one  be  the  representative,  the  attorney,  the 
aeent,  of  another,  the  case  is  different.  There  is  a 
legal  identity  between  the  two,  so  that  the  acts  of  one 
are  in  law  the  acts  of  the  other.  Such  is  the  general 
iudo-ment  of  men.  If  there  be  anv  force  in  these 
considerations,  they  would  go  to  show  that  Adam's 
children  are  not  culpable  because  as  their  father  he 
sinned  ;  but  if  he  were  their  legal  agent  and  repre- 
sentative they  must  be  regarded  as  blame-worthy  for 
his  sin.  They  did  the  act  in  him,  not  consciously  and 
subjectively,  but  federally,  legally,  representatively. 

It  may  be  objected  to  this  representation  of  the 
great  and  critically  important  doctrine  of  inherited 
sin,  that  the  parental  relation  is  thrown  out  of  account 
and  treated  as  if  possessed  of  no  significance.  To  this 
it  is  replied:  In  the  first  place,  it  is  admitted  that  the 
parental  relation  as  involving  the  natural  union  be- 
tween Adam  and  his  descendants  grounds  the  propa- 
gation of  the  race  as  a  species,  with  all  its  essential 
and  inseparable  qualities.  The  question,  however,  is 
a  different  one  whether  the  transmission  of  non-essen- 
tial and  separable  qualities  can  be  accounted  for  in 
accordance  with  this  law.  What  is  contended  for  is 
that  even  if  that  were  conceded,  the  propagation  of 
those  qualities — that  of  sin,  for  example — would  de- 
mand an  antecedent  solution  in  the  principle  of  jus- 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  245 

tice.     Why  sin  should  be  transmitted  from  parent  to 
child,    entailing   penal    consequences,    is    a    question 
which  cannot  be  legitimately  answered  by  appealing 
to    a    merely    natural    constitution.       The    deformity 
w^ould  be  a  misfortune   and   not  a  crime.     The  nat- 
uralness of  sin  would  as  much  destroy  its  punishable 
feature  as-  that  of  a  misshapen  body.      The  represen- 
tative relation  must  be  invoked   to  account  for  the 
legal   character  of  propagation,  even  if  it  be  admitted 
tliat  propagation   is  the  channel  of  the  transmission 
of  sin.     The  whole  difficulty  is  avoided  by  referring  the 
hereditary  character  of  sin  to  the  great  law  of  federal 
representation.      In   the  second  place,   it  is  admitted 
that   the  parental  relation  grounded  the  propriety  ot 
the   superadded    representative    relation.      It    was    fit 
that   he  who  was  appointed  the  federal    trustee  and 
legal  representative  of  mankind,  attended  by  the  im- 
measurable responsibilities    embraced  in   that  office, 
should  be  their  first  father,  possessed  of  all  the  tender 
affections  which  such  a  relation   supposed.      And    it 
was  fit  that  Adam  as  father  should   be  the  representa- 
tive, inasmuch  as  the  tie  of  blood,  the  bond  of  race, 
supplied    the  principle  upon  which    he    and   all    his 
individual    offspring   could    be    collected    into   legal 
unity.     The  statement  of  the  case  which  is  in  this 
discussion  maintained  is  precisely  this:  the  parental 
grounded  the  propriety  of  the  representative  relation, 
and  the  representative  relation  grounded  the  imputa- 
tion of  guilt. 

It  may  also  be  objected  that  the  doctrine  here  af- 
firmed is  eccentric,  for  the  reason  that  the  term  repre- 
sintative  and  its  cognates  are  not  found  either  in  the 
Scriptures   or  in   the  Westminster  Standards.     This 

246     Calvijiisni  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

objection  cannot  be  offered  by  those  divines  of  the 
Evangelical  Arniinian  school  who  themselves  employ 
the  phraseology  which  is  dispnted.  If  it  be  presented 
by  others  of  that  school,  the  answer  is,  that  there  are 
terms  of  articulate  importance  used  by  themselves 
which  are  not  found  in  the  Scriptures  ;  for  example 
the  Trinity,  Sufficient  Grace,  Prevenient  Grace,  and 
Universal  Atonement.  The  objection,  therefore,  as 
an  argument  would  prove  too  much  and  be  conse- 
quently invalid.  If  the  objection  were  urged  by  one 
belonging  to  the  school  of  Calvinism,  the  reply  would 
be :  In  the  first  place,  there  are  terms  employed  by 
Calvinists  which  are  not  to  be  found  in  the  Scriptures; 
for  instance,  Satisfaction  to  divine  justice,  the  Right- 
eousness of  Christ,  the  Imputed  Righteousness  of 
Christ,  the  Vicarious  Obedience  of  Christ,  Particular, 
or  Definite,  or  Limited  Atonement,  Effectual  Calling 
and  the  Perseverance  of  the  Saints.  Are  the  doc- 
trines signified  by  these  terms  not  to  be  found  in  the 
Scriptures?  If  so,  Calvinism  would  be  blown  to  the 
winds.  In  the  second  place,  the  fact  that  the  term 
representative^  as  applied  to  i\dam,  is  not  found  in  the 
Westminster  Standards  by  no  means  proves  that  the 
doctrine  of  his  representative  character  is  not  con- 
tained in  them.  He  is  expressly  declared  to  have 
been  a  "public  person"  in  the  same  sense  in  which 
Christ  is  said  to  be  a  "public  person."  Says  the 
Larger  Catechism  :  "The  covenant  being  made  with 
Adam  as  a  public  person,  not  for  himself  only,  but 
for  his  posterity,  all  mankind,  descending  from  him 
by  ordinary  generation,  sinned  in  him  and  fell  with 
him  in  that  first  transgression."^  Speaking  of  Christ 
^  Oues.  22. 

Objt'ctioji  from  Divine  Justice.  247 

the  same  formulary  says:  "All  which  he  did  as  a 
priblic  person,  tlie  head  of  his  church,  for  their  justi- 
fication."^ Does  tJiis  mean  that  Christ  was  a  repre- 
sentative? What  Calvinist  would  deny  ?  In  the  same 
way  it  must  be  admitted  that  the  Westminster  divines 
held  Adam  to  have  been  a  representative.  To  this  it 
must  be  added  that  the  terms  Particular  Atonement 
and  their  synonyms  are  not  found  in  the  Westminster 
Standards.  Is  the  doctrine  not  there?  And  it  de- 
serves to  be  remarked  that  the  term  representative 
was  not  in  common  use  at  the  time  when  the  x\ssem- 
bly  was  in  session,  and  hence  probably  its  absence 
from  the  formularies  composed  by  it.  But  it  was 
sufficiently  used  by  divines  of  the  period  to  show  that 
they  regarded  Adam  as  a  representative.  "The  sin 
of  Adam,"  observes  Dr.  John  Owen,  "was  and  is  im- 
puted unto  all  his  posterity  .  .  .  And  the  ground 
hereof  is,  that  we  stood  all  in  the  same  covenant  with 
him  who  was  our  head  and  representative  therein."^ 
"Adam,"  says  Thomas  Watson,  "being  a  repre- 
sentative person,  he  standing,  we  stood  ;  and  he  fall- 
ing, we  fell."^ 

We  come  now,  at  last,  to  the  question.  Was  the 
federal  constitution,  involving  the  application  of  the 
principle  of  legal  representation  to  Adam  and  his 
posterity  and  implicating  them  in  the  judicial  conse- 
quences of  his  first  sin,  inconsistent  with  the  justice 
of  God? 

The  questions  may  be  asked.  Why,  if  the  doctrines 
of  election  and  reprobation  have    been  proved  to  be 

^  Oues.  52, 

'  Works,  Goold's  Ed.,  vol.  5,  On  JusHfication,  p.  169. 

'  Select  Works,  Robert  Carter  and  Brothers,  p.  98. 

248     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

revealed  in  tlie  Scriptures,  should  the  inquiry  be 
considered  in  regard  to  their  consistency  or  inconsis- 
tency with  the  perfections  of  God?  And  why,  if  the 
doctrine  of  federal  representation  is  also  delivered  to 
us  by  the  same  sacred  authority,  should  the  attempt 
be  made  to  show  that  it  is  not  inconsistent  with  the 
divine  justice.  Everything  that  God,  in  his  holy 
Word,  declares  he  has  done  or  will  do  must,  of  neces- 
sity, be  consistent  with  his  character;  consequently 
these  reasonings  are  gratuitous  and  suited  to  do  more 
harm  than  good.  We  have  the  weighty  opinion  of 
Haldane,  in  his  admirable  commentary  on  the  Epistle 
to  the  Romans,  against  this  sort  of  argument  in  rela- 
tion to  the  subject  now  in  hand.  This,  it  is  cheer- 
fully admitted,  is  eminently  true  and  wise,  on  the 
supposition  that  a  doctrine  has  been  proved  beyond 
reasonable  doubt  to  be  revealed  in  the  Scriptures. 
The  position  of  the  Dogmatic  Rationalist  of  the  Wolf- 
ian  type  is  utterly  untenable,  that  doctrines  conceded 
to  be  part  of  a  supernatural  revelation  need  to  be  for- 
tified by  rational  demonstration.  It  is  enough  that 
they  are  introduced  with  the  indisputable  authority 
of  the  preface,  "Thus  saith  the  Lord."  But  it  merits 
consideration  that  the  real  question  often  is,  as  it  is  in 
this  particular  instance,  whether  the  doctrines  alleged 
to  be  revealed  in  the  Scriptures  are  actually  so  re- 
vealed. There  being  a  difference  between  pious  and 
reverent  men  in  their  interpretation  of  the  passages 
adduced  as  proofs,  moral  and  rational  considerations, 
drawn  from  the  teachings  of  Scripture  and  the  funda- 
mental laws  of  belief  of  the  human  mind,  are  thrown 
in  on  one  side  or  the  other  to  strengthen  or  weaken, 
not  the  divine  statements,  but   the  alle^red   evidence 

Objection  from   Divine  Justice.  249 

that  the  doctrines  in  question  are  derived  from  the 
word  of  inspiration.  It  is  for  this  reason  the  present 
discussion  has  been  allowed  the  range  which  it  has 
taken;  and  if  relief,  however  little,  shall  be  given  to 
any  pious  mind  from  doubt  as  to  the  divine  authority 
of  the  doctrines  it  defends  from  attack,  it  will  not  be 
wholly  vain. 

(i.)  If  God  established  the  federal  constitution  by 
which  Adam  was  appointed  the  legal  representative 
of  the  race,  it  must  be  regarded  as  just;  for  whatever 
God  does  is  necessarily  just.  This  principle  was  af- 
firmed by  the  illustrious  patriarch  when  pleading  for 
Sodom:  ''Shall  not  the  judge  of  all  the  earth  do 
right?"  The  same  great  principle  is  asserted  by- Paul 
in  the  third  chapter  of  Romans  when  replying  to 
objections  against  gratuitous  justification,  and  in  the 
ninth  chapter  when  answering  cavils  against  sover- 
eign predestination.  But  the  Scriptures  reveal  the 
fact  of  the  federal  constitution  as  one  of  divine  ap- 
pointment. It  w^as  therefore  not  inconsistent  with 
the  justice  of  God. 

(2.)  It  is  not  difficult  to  prove  that  the  federal  con- 
stitution involving  the  principle  of  legal  representa- 
tion was  benevolent.  The  limitations  assigned  by  a 
free  determination  of  the  divine  will  to  a  merely  legal 
probation, — the  limitation  of  the  probation  of  all  to 
that  of  one  who  was  amply  and  richly  furnished  to 
stand  the  trial,  one  who  from  the  nature  of  the  case 
wa.s  susceptible  of  responsibilities  which  in  their  ful- 
ness could  attach  to  no  other;  the  limitation  of  the 
time  of  obedience  which  conditioned  the  easy  attain- 
ment of  immortal  holiness  and  bliss  for  every  individ- 
ual of  the  race;  and  perhaps  the  limitation  of  the  field 

2^o     Calz'inisjn  and  Evans^elical  Armiiiianism 


of  temptation, — these  limitations  upon  the  trial  of 
mankind,  which  otherwise  under  a  naked  economy  of 
law  would  have  beeu  perpetual  for  every  individual 
and  shadowed  forever  by  the  dread  contingency  of  a 
fall,  were  certainly  the  products  of  benevolence. 
But  such  a  constitution  would  uot  have  been  benevo- 
lent had  it  been  unjust.  Injustice  done  to  the  crea- 
tures of  his  power  could  not  have  consisted  with  the 
goodness  of  their  Creator.  It  is  not  w^arrantable  to 
affirm  that  at  one  and  the  same  time  he  acted  towards 
the  human  race  benevolently  and  inconsistently  with 
justice.  On  the  other  hand,  if  the  representative  ar- 
rangement had  beeu  inconsistent  with  justice  it  could 
not  have  been  consistent  with  benevolence.  Of 
necessity  the  attributes  of  God  must  be  perfectly  har- 
monious wuth  each  other  both  in  their  intrinsic  nature 
and  in  their  actual  exercise.  If  then  the  federal 
economy  was  benevolent,  it  could  not  have  been  incon- 
sistent with  justice. 

(3.)  It  may  be  urged  that  it  was  arbitrary  and  there- 
fore was  not  grounded  in  justice.  To  this  it  is  re- 
plied, that  if  it  can  be  showui  to  have  been  dictated 
by  wisdom  and  benevolence  it  cannot  be  proved  to 
have  been  arbitrary;  for  that  is  arbitrary  which  is 
wanton  and  is  founded  upon  no  sufficient  reason.  It 
cannot  be  evinced  that  the  federal  ordination  was  the 
result  of  God's  naked  will  proceeding  without  any 
regard  to  rational  considerations.  It  cannot,-  there- 
fore, be  proved  to  have  been  inconsistent  with  justice 
because  it  wms  arbitrary. 

(4.)  The  attempt  has  been  made  to  convict  it  of  in- 
compatibility with  justice,  because  mankind,  who,  it 
is  alleged,  were  represented  in  Adam  and  bound  by 

Objection  from  Diz'inc  Justice.  251 

his  act,  had  no  voice,  no  siifTrage,  in  the  adoption  of 
that  measure  of  government  by  wliich  the  principle 
of  representation  \vas  applied  to  their  case:  it  was  im- 
posed upon  them  without  their  choice,  and  yet  their 
everlastino-  destinies  mioht  have  been  decided  bv  it. 
First,  It  cannot  be  proved,  though  this  be  true,  that 
the  application  of  the  principle  of  representation  to 
the  race  by  their  divine  Maker  and  Ruler  was  intrin- 
sically unjust.  We  are  incompetent  judges  of  the 
whole  case.  God  is  infinitely  wiser  than  we.  It 
would  be  supremely  rash  and  arrogant  in  us  to  under- 
take to  decide  upon  what  principles  he  should  choose 
to  conduct  his  moral  government.  It  is  at  least  sup- 
posable  that  he  saw  that  it  would  be  as  fair  to  men  to 
deal  with  them  collected  into  moral  unity  in  the  per- 
son of  a  fully  qualified  representative,  as  to  treat  each 
individual  as  responsible  only  for  his  own  subjective 
and  conscious  agency.  It  does  not  matter  to  sa}'  that 
when  God  constituted  the  first  man  a  representative 
of  his  race  he  foreknew  that  he  would  fall  and  drag 
down  his  descendants  with  him  into  a  common  ruin; 
for  had  this  measure  not  been  adopted,  God  might 
have  foreseen  that  every  individual  of  the  race  would 
fall  for  himself,  and  in  that  case  the  advantages  of  the 
representative  relation  would  be  absent.  So  that  at 
last  it  comes  to  this:  Why  did  God  create  man  at  all 
if  he  foreknew  that  he  would  sin  ?  And  to  that  ques- 
tion as  the  limited  human  intelligence  has  never  yet 
furnished  a  satisfactory  answer,  so  it  is  likely  that  in 
the  present  sphere  of  thought  it  never  will.  It  is 
enough  to  know  that  it  is  God  who  has  done  it.  Wliat- 
ever  he  does  must  be  just  and  wise  and  right. 

252      Cahiiiism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism, 

Secondly,  God  is  infinitely  benevolent.  The  appli- 
cation to  the  race  of  the  principle  of  representation 
was  therefore  consistent  with  benevolence.  It  was 
applied  to  man  while  in  innocence.  It  was  no  judi- 
cial infliction.  There  was  no  reason  growing-  out  of 
man's  relation  to  God  which  could  have  occasioned 
harshness  or  rigor  on  his  Maker's  part.  If  he  loved 
man  at  his  creation,  it  is  impossible  to  conceive  that 
he  would  have  chosen  any  mode  of  procedure  which 
would  have  prejudiced  his  interests  or  borne  hardly 
upon  his  destiny.  Indeed  it  is  impossible  to  say,  with- 
out blasphemy,  that  God  can  treat  any  of  his  crea- 
tures inequitably. 

Thirdly,  To  take  the  ground  that  the  application  to 
the  race  of  the  representative  principle  would  have 
been  unjust  because  they  had  no  suffrage  in  its  adop- 
tion, is  to  maintain  that  the  subjects  of  God's  govern- 
ment have  a  right  to  take  part  in  its  administration. 
This  is  absurdly  to  press  the  analogy  of  human  gov- 
ernment. The  people  are  not  sovereign  in  the  divine 
administration.  They  are  in  no  sense  factors  in  the 
government.  They  do  not  elect  the  ruler.  If  they 
did,  they  would  be  supposed  to  elect  God,  before  he 
could  have  the  right  to  rule  them.  The  right  of  God 
to  rule  is  absolute  and  resides  in  himself.  He  creates 
the  subjects  of  his  government,  and  is  therefore  as  to 
their  very  persons  as  well  as  their  interests  proprietary 
governor.  He  owns  them.  He  is  a  pure  autocrat. 
And  a  government  by  a  single  will  must  be  the  very 
best  government,  if  that  will  be  perfect — if  it  be  abso- 
lutely free  from  every  element  of  error,  injustice  and 
wrong.  The  race  therefore  could,  from  the  nature  of 
the  case,  have  no  right  to  exercise  suffrage  with  refer- 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  253 

ence  to  any  feature  of  the  divine  government,  unless 
God  himself  were  pleased  in  infinite  condescension  to 
confer  that  right.  Whether  that  were  possible,  will 
not  now  be  considered.  It  certainly  was  not  a  fact, 
and  that  consideration  is  sufficient  to  determine  the 
question  in  hand.  The  race  could  have  possessed  no 
right  of  suffrage,  and  consequently  there  could  have 
been  no  infringement  of  their  rights  by  an  application 
to  them  of  the  representative  principle. 

Fourthly,  The  same  course  of  reasoning  is  pertinent 
to  the  objection,  that  the  race  had  no  suffrage  in  the 
selection  of  the  person  to  represent  them — that  they 
had  no  voice  in  the  appointment  of  Adam  to  that  re- 
sponsible office.  But  the  following  considerations 
may  be  added  upon  this  point: 

In  the  first  place,  God  was  better  qualified  to  judge 
of  the  question  who  should  be  the  representative  than 
the  whole  human  race  could  have  been,  on  the  sup- 
position that  by  the  anticipation  of  their  actual  ex- 
istence, through  the  almighty  power  of  God,  they  had 
been  assembled  in  a  great  mass-meeting  at  the  garden 
of  Eden.  He  is  infinitely  wise  and  infinitely  benev- 

In  the  second  place,  it  is  plain  that  upon  the  sup- 
position of  the  application  of  the  representative  prin- 
ciple, Adam  was  suited  to  be  the  representative.  He 
was  created  in  the  full  maturity  of  his  powers  both  in 
body  and  soul.  Had  any  other  man  been  appointed  a 
future  representative,  he  must  have  been  appointed  to 
act  either  in  his  childhood  or  in  adult  age.  If  in 
childhood,  the  folly  of  the  appointment  would  have 
been  transparent.  If  in  adult  age,  what  guarantee 
would  have  existed  that  he  would  not  sin  before  arriv- 

254     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anjiinianisni. 

iiig  at  maturity?     The  folly  of  such  an  appointment 
would  have  been  equally  manifest. 

Further,  Adam  was  the  first  man,  the  parent  of  the 
whole  race.  Who  then  could  have  been  so  fit  as  he 
to  be  the  trustee  of  the  whole  race  ?  The  parental 
relation  which  he  sustained  to  every  man  grounded 
the  propriety  of  his  federal  and  representative  rela- 
tion to  every  man.  How  could  any  man  in  the  line 
of  descent  have  represented  those  who  preceded  him? 
Unless,  indeed,  we  suppose  that  election  terminated 
on  man  in  innocence.  But  it  did  not.  This  last  sup- 
position is  mentioned  for  the  reason  that  for  aught  we 
know  the  elect  angels  were  in  some  sense  represented 
by  Christ.  In  that  case,  as  their  existence  would 
have  ante-dated  his  incarnation,  his  merits  would  have 
been  reflected  back  upon  their  standing;  or  rather 
their  standing  would  have  been  grounded  in  his  future 
obedience.  So,  we  know,  it  actually  was  with  the 
Old  Testament  saints. 

It  deserves  moreover  to  be  considered,  that  the  re- 
sponsibilities which  weighed  upon  the  first  man,  on 
the  supposition  that  he  was  a  representative,  must  of 
necessity  have  been  greater  than  those  which  could 
have  been  gathered  upon  any  one  of  his  descendants. 
To  no  other  man  could  the  whole  race  have  sustained 
the  relation  of  posterity.  He  alone  could  feel  that 
all  mankind  were  destined  to  be  his  offspring.  The 
responsibilities  of  the  father  of  the  whole  race  could 
alone  rest  upon  him;  a-nd  if  he  could  not  fitly  dis- 
charge the  functions  of  a  representative  under  so  ac- 
cumulated a  load  of  responsibilities,  it  is  certain  that 
none  of  his  descendants  could. 

(5.)  If  the  principle  of  represeutation  be  discarded 

Objection  frouL  Divine  Justice.  255 

on  tlie  alleged  ground  of  its  injustice,  it  follows  that 
under  no  circumstances  can  it  be  admitted.  Unjust 
in  one  instance,  it  would  be  unjust  in  all.  The  rep- 
resentation of  sinners  by  Christ  must  consequently  be 
rejected  as  unjust.  And  then  upon  the  supposition 
of  the  sin  of  the  whole  race  of  individuals,  the  re- 
motest hope  of  their  salvation  would  be  shut  out.  For 
it  is  evident  that  no  transgressor  of  the  divine  law 
could  deliver  himself  from  its  penalty;  and  it  is 
equally  clear  that  no  one  laboring  under  the  spiritual 
disabilities  incurred  by  sin  could  recover  himself  from 
their  influence.  But  if  it  would  be  impossible  for  the 
sinner  to  extricate  himself  from  the  disastrous  conse- 
quences of  his  sin,  and  the  principle  of  representa- 
tion, involving  substitution,  would  be  inadmissible, 
every  sinner  must  lie  down  hopelessly  under  the  press- 
ure of  his  doom.  There  are  only  two  suppositions 
which  could  furnish  a  ray  of  hope — either  that  the 
sinner  might  deliver  himself,  or  that  he  might  be  de- 
livered by  a  substitute — and  both  are  excluded.  The 
Pelagian  hypothesis  is  here  thrown  out  of  account,  as 
having  not  the  shadow  of  support  either  from  the 
Scriptures  or  from  the  principles  of  reason.  "With- 
out shedding  of  blood  is  no  remission."  Atonement 
or  eternal  death:  these  are  the  only  alternatives  to 
the  transgressors  of  an  infinite  law.  To  this  reason- 
ing sundry  objections  may  be  offered. 

First,  It  may  be  objected  that  representation  which 
God  foreknew  would  issue  in  a  fall  into  sin,  and  repre- 
sentation intended  to  recover  men  from  the  disastrous 
effects  of  a  fall,  stand  on  a  different  foot  in  relation  to 
justice,  and  to  benevolence  as  well.  But  it  is  forgot- 
ten by  those  who  urge  this  objection  that  man  at  ere- 

2s6     Calvinism  and  Evans^elical  Arminianisni. 

ation  was  endowed  with  freedom  of  will  and  with 
amply  sufficient  strength  to  refrain  from  sin  and  stand 
in  holiness.  The  objection  might  be  relevant  if  the 
nature  of  man  as  it  issued  from  the  creative  hand  of 
God  implicated  the  necessity  of  a  fall.  But  this  is 
contrary  to  fact.  If,  then,  the  representative  had 
maintained  his  standing,  his  posterity  would  have 
cheaply  won  confirmation  in  holiness  and  happiness. 

These  objections  also  overlook  the  important  con- 
sideration that  the  confirmed  holiness  and  happiness 
of  the  race  were  suspended  upon  an  obedience  of  their 
representative  which  was  limited  as  to  time.  Had  he 
kept  his  integrity  for  the  specified  period  designated 
in  God's  covenant,  these  priceless  blessings  w^ouid 
have  been  secured  for  himself  and  his  posterity. 

On  the  other  hand,  had  there  been  no  super-addi- 
tion of  a  covenant  to  the  naked  dispensation  of  law, 
there  could,  from  the  nature  of  the  case,  have  been 
no  possible  justification  either  for  himself  or  for  any 
member  of  his  race.  The  demand  of  law  unmodified 
by  a  covenant  arrangement  would  have  been  for  per- 
petual obedience  as  the  condition  of  continued  life. 
The  requirement  would  have  been.  Obey,  and  as  long 
as  you  obey  you  shall  live;  disobey,  and  you  shall  die. 
The  period  never  could  have  been  reached  when  the 
subject  could  upon  a  plea  of  finished  obedience  have 
been  entitled  to  expect  the  confirmation  of  his  rela- 
tions to  God.  The  contingency  of  a  fall  would  have 
gone  on  parallel  with  his  immortal  existence. 

It  may  be  contended  that  while  this  is  true  in  re- 
gard to  the  necessity  of  a  covenant  in  order  to  justifi- 
cation, it  was  not  necessary  that  the  feature  of  repre- 
sentation   should    have    been    incorporated    into    the 

Objection  from  Diz'inc  Justice.  257 

federal  constitution.  It  might  have  pleased  Gcd  to 
have  entered  into  a  separate  covenant  with  each  indi- 
vidual involving  such  a  limitation  upon  the  time  of 
obedience  as  would  have  rendered  possible  the  justifi- 
cation of  every  man.  But  whatever  may  be  thought 
of  the  possibility  of  such  an  arrangement  there  are 
two  things  wdiich  clearly  show  that  it  w^as  not  a  fact, 
and  therefore  it  is  idle  to  raise  the  question.  In  the 
first  place,  the  universality  of  original  sin  prov^es  that 
every  member  of  the  race  was  implicated  in  the  re- 
sponsibility of  Adam's  first  sin,  and  that  the  com- 
plexion of  his  moral  history  was  derived  from  it. 
There  could  have  been  no  separate  covenant  wnth 
each  individual.  In  the  second  place,  the  Epistle  to 
the  Romans  settles  the  question.  It  teaches  that  the 
representative  character  of  Adam  was  analogous  to 
that  of  Christ. 

It  is  evident  from  what  has  been  said  that  mankind 
had  in  their  first  progenitor  and  legal  representative  a 
fair  chance  of  attaining  upon  easy  conditions  a  con- 
firmed life  of  holiness  and  bliss  which  would  have 
forever  placed  them  beyond  the  possibility  of  falling. 

Secondly,  It  may  be  objected  that  had  the  principle 
of  representation  not  been  adopted,  and  each  individ- 
ual of  the  race  had  been  placed  upon  his  own  foot  in 
relation  to  the  divine  law,  many  might  have  stood — 
more,  it  may  be,  than  are  actually  saved  through  the 
atonement  of  Christ.  It  is  not  difficult  to  show  that 
this  is  a  wild  supposition. 

In  the  first  place,  the  precedent  of  the  fallen  angels 
is  against  it.  We  have  reason  to  believe  that  the  prin- 
ciple of  representation  did  not  apply  in  their  case. 
Each  stood  on  the  foot  of  individual  obedience.     But 

258     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism. 

all  of  them  fell.  If  angels,  why  not  men  ?  And  it 
merits  serious  reflection  that  having  fallen  they  re- 
main so.  The  principle  upon  which  they  originally 
stood  related  to  God  appears  to  have  been  retained  by 
him  in  application  to  their  case.  No  federal  head 
and  representative,  so  far  as  we  know,  has  been  ap- 
pointed for  them  in  their  fallen  and  ruined  condition. 
We  know  not  the  whole  case,  but  these  facts  are  sug- 

In  the  second  place,  the  precedent  of  Adam  is 
against  the  supposition.  With  all  his  measureless 
responsibilities  thronging  upon  him,  he  fell.  In  all 
the  maturity  of  his  glorious  faculties  and  endowments, 
he  fell.  What  shadow  of  probability  is  there  that 
mere  children  would  have  been  able  to  resist  the  as- 
saults of  that  master  of  temptation  who  so  promptly 
seduced  him?  For  Adam's  descendants  would  not 
have  been  born  as  he  was  created.  It  is  more  than 
probable  that  had  each  man  been  placed  on  his  own 
individual  footing  each  one  v/ould  have  fallen. 

In  the  third  place,  each  descendant  of  Adam  would 
have  had  the  influence  of  his  evil  example  exerted 
upon  him.  The  principle  of  imitation  is  strong,  and 
would  have  seconded  the  temptations  of  the  Devil. 
Added  to  this  influence  of  the  first  man  would  have 
been  that  of  every  succeeding  fall  into  sin,  an  influ- 
ence gathering  fresh  accretion  and  augmented  strength 
as  the  generations  of  men  multiplied  in  number. 

(6.)  It  may  be  objected  that  while  it  is  consistent 
with  justice  that  another's  rif^hteousness  should  be 
imputed,  it  is  not  consistent  with  that  attribute  that 
another's  guilt  should  be  imputed:  justice  requires 
that  only  the  guilt  of  one's  own  conscious  sin  should 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  259 

be  imputed  to  him.  If  this  be  true,  it  would  follow 
that  the  guilt  of  Adam's  first  siu  could  not,  consist- 
ently with  justice,  be  imputed  to  his  posterity. 

We  have  here  the  assertion  of  a  general  principle 
or  law — that  of  the  impossibility  under  a  just  govern- 
ment of  the  imputation  of  another's  guilt  to  one 
consciously  and  subjectively  innocent.  One  clear  in- 
stance to  the  contrary  would  destroy  this  pretended 
generalization,  by  negativing  the  assumed  impossi- 
bility. Such  an  instance,  and  it  is  an  illustrious  one, 
w^e  have  in  Christ.  It  is  of  course  admitted  on  all 
hands  that  he  was  subjectively  and  consciously  sinless. 
He  was  holy,  harmless,  undcfiled  and  separate  from 
sinners.  It  is  a  fact,  however,  that  he  suffered  and 
suffered  unto  death,  even  the  accursed  death  of  the 
cross.  Now  there  are  only  three  conceivable  supposi- 
tions in  the  case:  either  that  he  suffered  without  the 
imputation  to  him  of  any  guilt;  or  that  he  suffered  in 
consequence  of  the  imputation  to  him  of  his  own 
guilt;  or  that  he  suffered  in  consequence  of  the  impu- 
tation to  him  of  others'  guilt.  To  say  that  he  suffered 
without  the  imputation  to  him  of  any  guilt  is  to  im- 
peach the  justice  of  the  divine  government;  for  if 
there  be  any  principle  of  government  which  is  axiom- 
atic it  is  that  no  suffering  can  be  justly  inflicted 
iipon  a  person  entirely  innocent.  To  say  that  he 
suffered  in  consequence  of  the  imputation  to  him  of 
his  own  guilt  is  alike  to  blaspheme,  and  to  subvert 
the  grounds  of  human  salvation.  It  remains  that  he 
must  have  suffered  in  consequence  of  the  imputation 
to  him  of  the  guilt  of  others. 

It  is  admitted  by  the  parties  to  this  controversy  that 
the  sufferings  of  Christ  were  penal.     As  he  could  not 

26o     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism, 

have  been  punished  for  nothing,  or  for  his  own  guilt, 
it  follows  necessarily  that  he  was  punished  for  the 
guilt  of  others  imputed  to  him. 

This  fact  so  vital  to  the  pardon  and  salvation  of 
sinners  is  explicitly  affirmed  in  the  Scriptures.  They 
declare  that  human  guilt  was  imputed  to  Christ. 
"And  Aaron  shall  bring  the  goat  upon  which  the 
Lord's  lot  fell,  and  offer  him  for  a  sin-offering:  But 
the  goat,  on  which  the  lot  fell  to  be  the  scape-goat, 
shall  be  presented  alive  before  the  Lord,  to  make  an 
atonement  with  him,  and  to  let  him  go  as  a  scape- 
goat into  the  wilderness.  And  when  he  hath  made 
an  end  of  reconciling  the  holy  place,  and  the  taber- 
nacle of  the  congregation,  and  the  altar,  he  shall 
brinof  the  live  o^oat:  And  Aaron  shall  lav  both  his 
hands  upon  the  head  of  the  live  goat,  and  confess  over 
him  all  the  iniquities  of  the  children  of  Israel,  and 
all  their  transgressions  in  all  their  sins,  putting  them 
upon  the  head  of  the  goat,  and  shall  send  him  away 
by  the  hand  of  a  fit  man  into  the  wilderness.  And 
the  goat  shall  bear  upon  him  all  their  iniquities  unto 
a  land  not  inhabited:  and  he  shall  let  go  the  goat  in 
the  wilderness."  "  My  sins  [guiltiness:  marg.]  are  not 
hid  from  thee."  "He  was  wounded  for  our  trans- 
gressions, he  was  bruised  for  our  iniquities:  the  chas- 
tisement of  our  peace  was  upon  him;  and  with  his 
stripes  we  are  healed.  All  we  like  sheep  have  gone 
astray;  we  have  turned  every  one  to  his  own  way;  and 
the  Lord  hath  laid  on  him  the  iniquity  of  us  all." 
"For  he  hath  made  him  to  be  sin  for  us,  who  knew 
no  sin."  "Christ  hath  redeemed  us  from  the  curse 
of  the  law,  being  made  a  curse  for  us:  for  it  is  writ- 
ten,  Cursed    is  every  one  that    hangeth  on   a  tree.'- 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  261 

"  So  Christ  was  once  offered  to  bear  the  sins  of  many." 
"Who  his  ownself  bare  our  sins  in  his  own  body  on 
the  tree." 

But  let  it  be  conceded  that  the  Scriptures  teacli  the 
imputation  of  his  people's  guilt  to  Christ,  and  it  will 
be  urged  that  he  consented  to  this  imputation,  whereas 
the  descendants  of  Adam  did  not  consent  to -the  im- 
putation of  his  guilt  to  them.  The  presence  of  con- 
sent in  the  one  case,  and  its  absence  in  the  other, 
makes  them  so  different  as  to  destroy  the  analogy  be- 
tween them.     To  this  it  may  be  replied  : 

First,  If  it  be  a  principle  of  all  moral  government, 
including  the  divine,  that  guilt  cannot  be  imputed 
where  there  has  been  no  conscious  sin,  it  would  be 
unsupposable  that  the  infinitely  just  God,  represent- 
ing the  Trinity,  could  have  infringed  that  principle 
by  imputing  guilt  to  his  sinless  Son.  It  is  inconceiv- 
able that  either  the  Father  or  the  Son  could  have 
consented  to  a  measure  involving  the  sacrifice  of  a 
principle  affirmed  to  be  fundamental  to  a  righteous 
government.  That  consent  to  so  transcendently  won- 
derful and  awful  a  procedure  as  the  imputation  of  the 
guilt  of  others  to  the  Son  of  God,  viewed  as  incar- 
nate, can  only  be  conceived  by  us  as  possible  on  the 
ground  that  it  was  consistent  with  the  divine  perfec- 
tions, and  was  justified  by  the  infinitely  glorious  ends 
which  were  designed  to  be  secured. 

Secondly,  It  is  hard  to  avoid  the  impression  that 
those  who  urge  the  view  under  consideration,  con- 
found two  things  which  are  entirely  distinct.  It  is 
one  thing  to  impute  the  guilt  of  conscious  sin,  when 
no  conscious  sin  has  been  committed,  and  quite  an- 
other thing  to  impute  the  guilt  of  another's  conscious 

262      Calvinism  and  Evano^elical  Arniinianisni. 


sin.  Ill  the  former  case  the  principle  of  justice  would 
be  flagrantly  violated,  for  the  imputation  would  not 
be  in  accordance  with  fact.  It  would  be  untrue  and 
therefore  unjust.  But  the  same  difficulty  does  not 
exist  in  the  latter  case.  To  impute  to  one  the  guilt 
of  another's  conscious  sin  does  not  necessarily  involve 
an  inconsistency  with  fact,  and  therefore  does  not 
necessarily  conflict  with  truth.  Wiiile  then  it  would 
have  been  impossible  for  God  the  Father  to  impute  to 
his  incarnate  Son  the  guilt  of  conscious,  subjective 
sin,  seeing  he  was  holy,  harmless,  undefiled  and  sepa- 
rate from  sinners,  and  equally  impossible  for  God  to 
impute  the  guilt  of  conscious,  subjective  sin  to  Adam's 
descendants  for  implication  in  his  fall,  seeing  that 
when  he  fell  they  were  not  in  conscious  existence,  it 
is  neither  impossible  nor  incredible  that  God  the 
Father  should  have  determined  to  introduce  into  his 
moral  government  a  principle  of  representation  in  ac- 
cordance with  which,  in  order  to  the  divine  glory  and 
the  salvation  of  sinners,  he  called  his  Son  to  assume 
the  guilt  of  fallen  man,  nor  is  it  impossible  or  in- 
credible that  in  dealing  with  the  human  race  God, 
proceeding  upon  the  same  principle  in  appointing 
Adam  as  their  federal  head,  should  have  ordained  the 
imputation  to  them  of  his  righteousness  if  he  stood, 
and  of  his  guilt  if  he  fell.  In  either  case,  that  of 
Christ  or  the  posterity  of  Adam,  the  imputation  is  not 
of  conscious  and  subjective,  but  of  constructive,  legal, 
representative  guilt. 

Thirdly,  The  distinction  must  not  be  overlooked 
between  the  consent  of  one  to  be  the  representative 
of  others  and  the  consent  of  constituents  to  be  repre- 
sented.    The  former  was  the  case  of  Christ.     His  free 

Obiection  from   Divine  Justice.  263 

consent  to  the  appointment  of  the  Father  by  which 
he  became  the  representative  of  sinners,  involving 
the  imputation  of  their  guilt  to  him,  is  supposed  in 
the  formation  of  the  covenant  of  redemption.  The 
same  thing  holds  good  in  part  of  the  case  of  Adam. 
He  was  by  a  free  act  of  God's  will  appointed  the  rep- 
resentative of  his  posterity.  It  is  true  that  this  ap- 
pointment could  not  have  been  declined  by  Adam, 
but  it  is  also  true  that  as  he  was  graciously  admitted 
to  be  a  party  to  a  covenant  with  God,  his  free  and 
spontaneous  consent  to  the. divine  ordination  was  sup- 
posed. If  then  it  be  granted  that  the  cordial  consent 
of  a  representative  to  the  constitution  under  which 
he  is  appointed  is  supposed,  it  will  not  follow  that  the 
free,  conscious  consent  of  the  constituents  is  to  be 
equally  supposed.  Such  was  not  the  fact  in  regard  to 
Christ's  constituents.  They  did  not,  could  not,  con- 
sent in  the  first  instance  to  his  appointment  as  their 
representative.  The  same  is  true  of  Adam's  constit- 
uents, who,  in  the  first  instance,  did  not  and  could 
not  consciously  consent  to  his  appointment  as  their 
representative.  The  analogy  then  might  be  regarded 
as  in  some  degree  holding  between  Christ  as  consent- 
ing to  be  a  representative  and  Adam  as  consenting  to 
sustain  a  similar  relation  ;  but  for  aught  that  appears 
it  would  not  obtain  between  Christ  as  a  representative 
and  Adam's  constituents  as  represented. 

Fourthly,  Another  distinction  merits  notice,  to 
wit,  between  the  derivation  of  responsibility  upwards 
from  constituents  to  a  federal  head  and  representa- 
tive, on  the  one  hand,  and,  on  the  other,  the  deriva- 
tion of  responsibility  downwards  from  a  federal  head 
and  representative  to  constituents.     The  cases  are  not 

264      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arnii7iianism. 

perfectly  analogous.  It  may,  therefore,  not  be  legiti- 
mate to  say  that  because  the  Son  of  God  consented  to 
the  imputation  of  the  guilt  of  his  constituents  to  him, 
it  was  requisite  that  Adam's  constituents  should  have 
consented  to  the  imputation  of  his  guilt  to  them. 
If  consent  were  necessary  in  the  one  case,  it  would 
not,  in  consequence  of  that  fact,  be  proved  that  it 
was  necessary  in  the  other. 

It  deserves  consideration  that,  on  the  supposition 
of  the  appointment  of  the  Son  of  God  as  the  federal 
head  and  representative  of  a  sinful  constituency,  it 
was  in  the  nature  of  things  necessary  for  him  to  as- 
sume their  guilt,  and  for  God  the  Father  judicially 
to  impute  it  to  him.  Their  guilt  was  not  contem- 
plated in  the  counsels  of  the  Godhead  as  in  any 
sense  contingent,  but. as  a  fact;  that  is  to  say,  it  was 
not  in  any  sense  contingent  whether  they  would  be 
guilty  or  not.  They  were  viewed  as  fallen.  But  the 
case  was,  in  some  degree,  different  in  regard  to  the 
relation  between  Adam  and  his  posterity.  There 
was,  antecedently  to  his  fall,  no  intrinsic  necessity 
that  his  guilt  should  be  imputed  to  them,  because 
there  was  no  such  necessity  that  he  should  sin  and 
contract  guilt.  He  might  have  stood,  and  then  his 
righteousness  would  have  been  imputed  to  them;  on 
which  supposition,  their  consent,  according  to  the 
admission  of  the  objectors,  would  not  have  been 
necessary.  For  it  is  conceded  that  a  vicarious  right- 
eousness may  be  imputed,  at  least  is  imputable, 
without  the  previous  consent  of  those  upon  whom 
such  imputation  is  designed  to  take  effect. 

It  will  be  said  in  reply  that,  granted  there  was  no 
intrinsic  necessity  that  Adam  should  fall  and  that  his 

Objection  fro7n  Divine  Jtistice.  265 

guilt  should  be  imputed,  yet  God  foreknew  that  such 
would  be  the  actual  result  of  a  covenant  with  him; 
consequent!}',  the  difficulty  is  not  removed.  I  rejoin, 
that  had  no  federal  and  representative  arrangement 
been  adopted,  and  all  men  had  been  dealt  with 
severally,  each  on  his  own  foot,  God  might  have 
foreknov/n  that  like  the  fallen  angels  all  would  have 
lapsed  from  holiness.  Will  it  be  demanded  that  be- 
fore such  an  arrangement  could  have  been  justified 
the  consent  to  it  of  every  human  being  should  have 
been  secured?  Who  would  take  that  ground?  Why, 
then,  might  not  the  federal  constitution  have  been 
adopted,  without  the  consent  of  mankind,  even 
though  it  was  divinely  foreseen  that  it  would  actually 
issue  in  the  Fall?  Looking  at  the  matter  from  the 
low  view  of  consequences,  we  must  admit  that  no 
more  injury  has  accrued  from  the  application  of  the 
representative  principle  without  the  consent  of  man- 
kind, than  would  have  resulted  if  it  had  not  been  in- 
troduced and  men  without  their  consent  had  been 
treated  as  individually  responsible. 

It  must  also  be  again  observed  that  had  not  the 
representative  economy  been  adopted,  and  each  mem- 
ber of  the  race  had  fallen  through  his  own  conscious 
sin,  the  ruin  of  all  would  have  been  irretrievable. 
For  it  is  certain  that  no  fallen  human  beincr  could 
have  saved  himself.  And  if  it  be  said  that  at  least 
the  justice  of  God  in  punishing  every  man  only  for 
his  own  conscious  sin  would  have  been  apparent,  it 
is  easy  to  answer  that  the  exercise  of  mercy  in  saving 
men  would  also  have  been  debarred.  Whether  it 
would  have  been  better  that  justice  should  be  mani- 
fested in  damning  all,  or  mercy  in  saving  some,  it 
may  be  left  to  the  objectors  themselves  to  determine. 

266     Calvinism  and  Evang^elical  Armiiiianism. 


Fifthly,  There  is  still  another  distinction  which 
must  be  emphasized.  It  is  that  which  exists  between 
the  infinite  Son  of  God,  as  in  essence  identical  and  in 
power  and  glory  equal  with  the  eternal  Father,  on  the 
one  hand,  and  the  finite,  human  subjects  of  the  divine 
government,  on  the  other.  Antecedently  to  his  own 
free  act,  by  which  he  subordinated  himself  as  Medi- 
ator to  the  will  of  his  Father,  the  Sou  of  God  was  not 
a  subject  of  law  ;  he  was  no  creature,  bound  by  the 
very  conditions  of  the  creaturely  relation  to  comply 
with  the  requirements  of  the  divine  government.  He 
was,  with  the  Father,  the  source  and  administrator  of 
the  divine  rule.  Hence  it  is  obvious  that,  in  order  to 
his  becoming  the  representative  and  sponsor  of  sinful 
beings  (amazing  fact !)  with  the  end  in  view  of  secur- 
ing their  pardon  and  salvation,  his  own  free  consent 
to  such  a  procedure  should  exist.  Without  it,  it  is 
not  conceivable  that  the  mysterious  economy  by  which 
he  became  the  suffering  and  dying  vicar,  the  priestly 
substitute,  of  sinners  should  have  been  carried  into 
execution.  He  must  have  voluntarily  consented  to 
assume  the  guilt  of  sinners,  and  to  be  regarded  and 
treated  as  putatively  guilty,  in  order  to  the  judicial 
imputation  of  guilt  to  him  by  God  the  Father  as  the 
representative  of  the  Godhead  in  the  solemn  transac- 
tion. This  has  been  clearly  enough  shown  by  such 
writers  as  Dr.  John  Owen,  Bishop  Horsley,  Robert 
Hall  and  James  Thornwell.  But  it  would  be  extrav- 
agant to  use  the  case  of  the  Son  of  God  as  an  ana- 
logue to  that  of  mere  creatures  of  the  divine  power 
and  subjects  of  the  divine  law.  What  is  and  must  be 
true  of  him  is  by  no  means  necessarily  predicable  of 
them.      If  his  consent  to  the  employment   of  the  rep- 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  267 

resentative  principle,  in  sncli  an  application  to  him  as 
to  involve  the  impntation  of   the  guilt  of  others  to 
him,  was   indispensable,   it  does  not  follow  that  the 
application  of  the  same  principle  of  government  to 
mere  creatures  and  subjects,  resulting  in  their  impli- 
cation in  another's  guilt,  must  have  been  conditioned 
only   upon    their    free,    conscious    concurrence.       It 
would  amount  to  this:  that  it  would  have  been  im- 
possible,   because  unjust,    for  God    ever  to  have  in- 
troduced  the  representative    feature    into   his    moral 
government,  so  far  as  the  appointment  of  a  creature 
as  representative  is  concerned.     The  reason   is  plain. 
The    appointment   of   such    a    representative,    being 
necessarily  founded  in   the  eternal  purpose   of  God, 
must  from  the  nature  of  the  case  be  prospective  in  its 
character— must    anticipate    the    conscious  existence 
of  those  for  whom  the  representative  is  intended  to 
act,    and   must   therefore,    if  made    at   all,    be  made 
without   their   conscious    consent.      Will    those    who 
urge  the  objection  under  consideration  maintain  the 
view,   that  the  infinite  God  was   estopped  from  em- 
ploying the  principle  of  representation  in  the  moral 
government  of  his  creatures? 

This  objection,  the  gravity  of  which  is  not  denied, 
has  thus  been  subjected  to  a  fair  examination,  and 
the  reasons  advanced  against  its  relevancy,  it  may 
without  arrogance  be  claimed,  are  at  least  sufficient 
to  show,  that  the  difficulties  which  it  creates  are 
more  formidable  than  those  inhering  in  the  doctrine 
against  which  it  is  directed. 
^7.)  In  an  issue  between  the  plain  statements  of 
Scripture  and  an  alleged  fundamental  intuition,  the 
proof  of  the  reality  of  that  intuition  and  of  tlie  legiti- 

268     Calvinism  and  Evano-elical  Arniinianism. 


macy  of  its  application  to  the  case  in  hand  mnst  be 
such  as  to  place  it  beyond  suspicion.  It  must  not  be 
doubtful.  It  is  admitted  that  our  fundamental  laws 
of  belief  and  our  fundamental  principles  of  rectitude 
are  standards  to  which,  in  some  measure,  the  claims 
of  a  professed  revelation  from  God  are  to  be  brought 
and  by  which  they  are  to  be  tested.  In  some  meas- 
ure, I  say,  for  they  are  far  from  being  the  only 
standards  of  adjudication.  They  enter  as  only  one 
element  into  the  criteria  of  judgment.  But  it  must 
not  be  a  spurious  or  even  a  doubtful  law,  which  is 
thus  erected  into  a  standard  by  which  an  alleged 
supernatural  revelation  is  to  be  tried.  Let  now  this 
rule  be  applied  to  the  supposed  intuition  of  justice, 
which  is  appealed  to  in  opposition  to  the  doctrine  of 
federal  representation  as  delivered  in  the  Scriptures. 
The  foregoing  argument,  even  if  it  be  regarded  as 
defective  in  conclusiveness,  at  least  avails  to  show, 
that  the  alleged  intuition  of  justice,  in  its  application 
as  a  standard  of  judgment  to  that  doctrine  of  federal 
representation  as  employed  in  the  history  of  our  race, 
is  not  beyond  impeaclnnent.  It  is  itself  on  trial  and 
therefore  fails  to  be  an  unequivocal  standard.  It  cer- 
tainly is  not  sufficiently  clear  to  ground  the  rejection 
of  the  Scriptures  as  the  professed  testimony  of  God. 
Let  us  now  briefly  review  the  argument.  The  Cal- 
vinist  maintains  that  God  was  just  in  decreeing  to 
reprobate  those  who,  by  their  own  unnecessitated  sin, 
had  brought  themselves  into  a  condition  of  guilt  and 
condemnation.  To  this  it  is  objected,  that  they  are 
born  in  a  state  of  sin  and  spiritual  inability.  As  thev 
are  born  sinners,  it  cannot  be  shown  that  they  are 
punishable  for  their  sin.      It  is  conoenital  and  consti- 

Objection  from  Diz'inc  Justice.  269 

tutional.  As  they  are  born  disabled  b}-  sin  from 
obeyintr  God's  requirements,  either  legal  or  evangel- 
ical, they  are  not  punishable  for  disobedience,  inas- 
much as  ability  conditions  obligation.  As  this  diffi- 
culty presses  equally  upon  the  Arminian  and  the  Cal- 
vinist,  each  meets  it  in  his  own  way.  The  Arminian 
contends  that  men  are  accountable  for  original,  or 
birth,  sin,  because  they  were  seminally  contained  in 
Adam  as  their  first  father,  who  differed  from  other 
fathers  only  in  this,  that  he  sustained  a  public  rela- 
tion to  the  whole  race,  which  was  possible  to  no  other 
parent;  and  because  this  relation  of  parental  head- 
ship, foreseen  as  issuing  in  sin  and  a  fall,  was  modi- 
fied by  a  purpose  of  redemption  which  was  co-ordi- 
nated with  it.  Further  by  virtue  of  an  universal  I 
atonement,  the  guilt  of  Adam's  sin  is  not  imputed,  ' 
and  by  grace  inability  is  removed.  In  this  way  the 
Arminian  endeavors  to  vindicate  the  divine  justice, 
in  connection  with  a  constitution  which  involved  the 
race  in  congenital  sin  and  inability.  I  have  endeav- 
ored to  show  that  this  mode  of  meeting^  the  gricrantic 
difficulty,  is  insufficient  and  unsatisfactory,  whether 
tested  by  Scripture  or  reason. 

The  Calvinist  meets  the  difficulty  by  showing,  that 
upon  the  relation  of  parental  headship  sustained  by 
Adam  to  his  race,  the  grace  of  God  superinduced  that 
of  federal  and  legal  representation.  The  race  had 
their  first  probation  in  him.  They  were  legally  and 
representatively  one  with  him,  so  that  his  act  of  sin 
was,  considered  not  consciously  and  subjectively,  but; 
legally  and  representatively,  their  sin,  and  /;/  that\ 
seiise^  their  sin  really,  actually,  personally,  individ- 
ually.     In  him  they  sinned.     Consequently  the  guilt 


Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arnjiinianism. 

of  that  sin  was  justly  imputable  to  them  as  their  own 
guilt.  It  was  another's  guilt,  inasmuch  as  they  did 
not  contract  it  consciously  an-d  subjectively.  In  this 
sense,  it  was  the  guilt  of  another's  sin — peccatiun  alie- 
nnni,  and  became  theirs  by  imputation  only,  just  as, 
in  this  sense,  the  merit  of  Christ's  righteousness  is 
the  merit  of  another'' s  righteousness— /V/j-Z/Z/^^  aliena^ 
and  becomes  his  people's  only  by  imputation.  But 
as  they  did  contract  Adam's  guilt  by  acting  legally 
and  representatively  in  him,  in  that  sense,  the  guilt 
was  self-contracted,  and  the  great  maxim,  "The  soul 
that  sinneth,  it  shall  die,"  is  not  infringed.  That 
Adam's  descendants  should  be  born,  if  born  at  all, 
in  sin  and  spiritual  inability,  so  far  from  being  de- 
barred, is  required,  by  justice.  In  him  they  con- 
tracted guilt,  and  by  their  act  despoiled  themselves  of 
that  spiritual  ability  which  was  their  concreated  en- 
dowment. The  fact,  and  the  justice,  of  the  federal 
constitution,  involving  the  application  of  the  prin- 
ciple of  legal  representation  to  the  race  in  Adam, 
having  been  proved,  the  conclusion  follows,  that  as 
mankind  brought  themselves  into  a  condition  of  con- 
demnation by  their  own  fault,  God  is  just  in  contin- 
uing upon  some  of  them  that  doom  which  they  had 
justly  contracted. 

I  have  dwelt  at  some  length  upon  these  views,  be- 
cause I  am  compelled  to  regard  the  great  principle  of 
Federal  Representation,  through  which  the  sovereign 
grace  of  God  dealt  at  first  with  man  and  deals  with 
.  him  now,  as  one  of  the  key-principles  of  the  Calvin- 
1  istic  system.  If  that  principle  be  torn  out  of  it,  the 
system  is  disintegrated.  Believing  that  it  is  im- 
pressed upon  the  whole  Word  of  God,  and  illustrated 

Objection  from  Divine  Justice.  271 

in  part  by  every  scheme  of  free,  representative  gov- 
ernment among  men,  I  feel  satisfied  that  its  import- 
ance cannot  be  exaggerated. 

It  will  be  asked.  What  is  the  bearing  of  the  Calvin- 
istic  doctrine,  tonching  the  decree  of  election  and  re- 
probation, npon  the  case  of  infants  dying  in  infancy? 
I  reluctantly  answer  the  question,  because  it  has  so 
often  been  made  a  theme  for  furious  declamation 
rather  than  for  sober  inquiry.  To  those  who  are 
willing  to  argue  and  not  to  denounce,  we  are  ready  to 
give  an  answer.  There  have  been  very  few  Calvin- 
ists  who  have  taken  the  ground  that  any  infants 
dying  in  infancy  are  excluded  from  salvation,  so  few 
as  to  exercise  no  influence  upon  the  Calvinistic 
system.  The  great  majority  are  divided  into  two 
classes:  those  who  afHrm  the  salvation  of  all  infants 
dying  in  infancy — and  at  the  present  day  this  is 
probably  the  more  numerous  class  ;  and  those  who 
affirm  the  certain  salvation  of  all  infants  dying  in 
infancy,  who  are  children  of  believing  parents,  and 
content  themselves  with  maintaining,  in  reference  to 
other  infants  dying  in  infancy,  the  strong  probability 
of  their  salvation.  The  former  class,  consequently, 
affirm  the  election  to  salvation  of  all  infants  dying  in 
infancy,  the  reprobation  of  none  ;  the  latter  class 
affirm  the  certain  election  of  all  infants  dying  in  in- 
fancy, who  are  children  of  believing  parents,  and 
maintain  the  probable  election  of  others  dying  in  in- 
fancy. No  class  affirm  the  certain  or  probable  repro- 
bation of  any  infants  dying  in  infancy.  The  ques- 
tion, therefore,  of  the  justice  of  their  reprobation  is 
groundless,  since  neither  the  certainty  nor  the  proba- 
bility of  their  reprobation  is  asserted  by  any  class  of 

272     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Ar}ninia7iisni. 

But  does  not  the  Westminster  Confession  say  that 
only  elect  infants  are  saved?  No,  it  does  not.  The 
qualifying  term  only  is  not  used.  These  are  the 
words:  "Elect  infants,  dying  in  infancy,  are  regener- 
ated and  saved  by  Christ  through  the  Spirit  who 
worketh  when  and  where  and  how  he  pleaseth.  So 
also  are  all  other  elect  persons,  who  are  incapable  of 
being  outwardly  called  by  the  ministry  of  the  Word." 
The  framers  of  the  Confession  evidently  meant  to 
imply  that,  as  no  human  beings  can  be  saved  except 
in  consequence  of  election,  no  infants,  dying  in  in- 
fancy, can  be  saved,  except  in  consequence  of  elec- 
tion. If  all  infants  dying  in  infancy  be  saved,  then 
they  are  all  elect,  and  to  this  no  Evangelical  Arminian 
can  consistently  object,  since  he  holds  that  all  who  are 
saved  are  elect.  But  the  question  whether  all  infants, 
dying  in  infancy,  are  elect,  and  therefore  are  saved,  is 
one  which  the  Confession  did  not  undertake  to  de- 
cide. As  it  is  not  a  matter  concerning  which  the 
Scriptures  speak  definitely,  it  was  wisely  left  where 
they  put  it. 

If  the  ground  be  taken  that  justice  requires  the 
salvation  of  all  infants  dying  in  infancy,  Calvinists 
unanimously  deny.  For  the  salvation  of  no  sinner 
can  be  required  by  justice,  and  infants  are  sinners. 
If  it  be  maintained,  that  all  infants,  dying  in  infancy, 
are  saved  through  the  mercy  of  God,  applying  to  them 
the  justifying  blood  of  Christ  and  communicating  the 
regenerating  grace  of  the  Spirit,  speaking  for  myself, 
I  do  not  deny.  I  think  it  probable  and  hope  it  may 
be  so.  But  I  am  not  prepared  to  go  further,  and  dog- 
matically affirm  what  the  Scriptures  do  not  clearly 
reveal.     The  W^ord  of  God,  and  not  human  sentiment, 

Objtxtiou  from  Divine  Justice,  273 

is  our  rule  of  faith.      When  that  speaks,  let  us  speak; 
when  it  is  silent,  let  us  hold  our  peace. 

It  may  be  objected  to  tlie  foregoing  views,  that  the 
chief  weio'ht  of  the  divine  condemnation  of  sinners  is 
represented  as  imposed  upon  them  in  consequence  of 
their  fall  in  Adam,  and  their  possession  of  the  princi- 
ple of  original  sin;  whereas  the  indictments  of  Scrip- 
ture are  mainlv  directed  ao^ainst  actual  transsrressions. 
It  is  conceded  that  God's  rebukes,  expostulations  and 
warnings  have  reference  principally  to  the  actual  dis- 
positions and  transgressions  of  the  wicked,  but  it 
cannot  be  overlooked  that  these  actual  wickednesses 
have  their  root  in  the  principle  of  sin  which  is  con- 
genital with  men.  They  develop  and  express  it. 
We  are,  therefore,  compelled,  in  the  last  analysis,  to 
refer  the  ground  of  blameworthiness  and  condemna- 
tion to  original  sin.  If  that  were  not  blameworthy 
and  condemnable,  but  were  a  part  of  man's  original 
constitution  for  the  existence  of  which  he  is  not  ac- 
countable, it  would  be  vain  to  seek  in  actual  disposi- 
tions and  sins,  expressing  a  nature  which  he  had  no 
hand  in  producing  but  sim])ly  received,  a  legitimate 
ground  of  reprobation.  INIen  consciously  and  sponta- 
neously commit  actual  sins,  and  the  divine  condem- 
nation of  those  sins  is  enforced  by  the  decisions  of 
conscience,  but  the  root  is  the  innate  deprivation  of 
original  righteousness,  and  the  innate  principle  of  un- 
godliness; and  this  condition  of  the  race  at  birth  can- 
not be  adjusted  to  our  conceptions  of  justice,  except 
upon  the  supposition  of  ante-natal  guilt.  This  sup- 
position the  Scriptures  confirm.  The  ultimate  solu- 
tian  of  the  question  urged  by  the  intuition  of  justice 
is,  therefore,  to  be  found  in  the  legal  representation 

274     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

of  the  race  by  their  primitive  progenitor  uncier  the 
covenant  of  works.  The  case  is  not  helped  by  the 
Arniinian  hypothesis  of  a  gracious  restoration  of 
ability  to  the  whole  race.  For  either  that  supposed 
restoration  of  ability  implies  the  regeneration  of  the 
whole  race,  or  it  does  not.  If  it  do,  the  supposition 
is  exploded  by  facts:  the  whole  race  are  not  regener- 
ated. If  it  do  not,  the  ability  imparted  is  not  suffi- 
cient to  overcome  the  principle  of  original  sin,  and 
the  difficulty  returns  in  all  its  force.  Back  to  Eden — 
back  to  Eden,  w^e  must  inevitably  go. 

If  any  one  should  still  object  to  the  decrees  of 
election  and  reprobation  as  unjust,  we  return  to  him 
the  answer  of  the  inspired  apostle:  ''Who  art  thou, 
O  man,  that  repliest  against  God?"  Has  not  God  the 
right  to  deal  with  sinners  as  he  pleases?  Has  he  not 
the  right  to  glorify  his  grace  in  the  salvation  of  some 
out  of  the  ill-deserving  mass,  and  to  glorify  his  justice 
in  the  destruction  of  others.'*  Who  is  this  potsherd  of 
earth  that  quarrels  with  infinite  sovereignty  and  jus- 
tice? Let  Him  quarrel  with  those  who  are  like  him 
— the  potsherds  of  earth. 


The  next  objection  to  the  Calvinistic  doctrines  of 
election  and  reprobation,  wdiich  will  be  considered,  is 
derived  from  the  divine  zoodness.  It  is  ur^ed  that 
God's  love  is  extended  to  every  man,'  that  his  tendei 
mercies  are  over  all  his  works  ;  that  it  would  be  an 
impeachment  of  his  goodness  lo  say,  that  he  elected 
some  of  mankind  to  be  saved  and  ordained  others  to 

^  Watson,  77^<?^.  Inst.  Vol.  ii.,  p.  341. 

Objectioii  JroDi  Divi>ie  Goodness,  275 

perish;  that,  knowiiif^  his  efficacious  grace  to  be 
necessary  to  the  salvation  of  any,  he  decreed  to  im- 
part it  to  some,  and  to  withhold  it  fro:u  others  no 
worse  than  tliey. 

Some  Calvinistic  writers,  in  answering  this  objec- 
tion, resort  to  the  distinction  between  God's  love  of 
benevolence  and  his  love  of  complacency.  They 
admit,  what  the  Scriptures  plainly  teach,  that  God 
exercises  a  love  of  benevolence  towards  all  men, 
whatever  their  moral  character  may  be.  The  com- 
mon gifts  of  his  providence,  which  are  conferred 
without  distinction  upon  the  righteous  and  the 
wicked,  are  sufficient  to  evince  this  fact.  "But  I  say 
unto  you,"  is  the  inculcation  of  Christ  in  his  Sermon 
on  the  Mount,  "Love  your  enemies,  bless  them  that 
hate  you,  and  pray  for  them  which  despitefully  use 
you  and  persecute  you;  that  ye  may  be  the  children 
of  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven:  for  he  maketh  his 
sun  to  rise  on  the  evil  and  on  the  good,  and  sendeth 
rain  on  the  just  and  on  the  unjust."^  But  this  unde- 
niable love  of  benevolence  which  God  exercises 
towards  all  men  is  not  to  be  confounded  with  the  love 
of  complacency  with  which  he  regards  his  elect 
people — a  peculiar  love  which  is  indicated  in  such 
passages  as  this:  "The  Lord  hath  appeared  of  old 
unto  me,  saying,  yea,  I  have  loved  thee  with  an  ever- 
lasting love;  therefore  with  loving  kindness  have  I 
drawn  thee."^  Did  God,  it  is  argued,  love  all  man- 
kind with  the  h)ve  of  complacency,  his  refusal  to  save 
all  would  present  a  difficult}-  which  could  not  be  ex- 
plained. But  the  fact  that  he  regards  some  with  the 
mere  love  of  benevolence  is  attended  with  no  such 

^  Matt.  V.  44,  45.  "-^  Jer.  xxxi.  3. 

276     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arntinianisui. 

difficulty.  The  infliction  of  the  punishments,  re- 
quired by  justice,  upon  the  objects  on  whom  the 
love  of  benevolence  terminates  is  a  fact  abundantly 
asserted  in  Scripture  and  constantly  illustrated  by 
experience  and  observation.  The  conclusion  is  that 
the  decree  of  reprobation  is  not  inconsistent  with  the 
love  of  God  to  men,  or,  what  is  the  same  thing,  with 
the  divine  goodness. 

I  confess  my  inability  to  avail  myself  of  this  Scrip- 
tural distinction,  and  of  the  argument  based  upon  it 
answering  the  objection  under  consideration.  The 
human  race  having  been  conceived  in  the  eternal 
mind — so  we  must  phrase  it  in  our  human  dialect — 
as  fallen  by  their  own  fault  into  sin,  justice  demanded 
the  punishment  of  the  whole  race.  It  could  require 
no  less.  On  the  other  hand,  mercy,  which  is  but  the 
benevolence  of  God  contemplating  the  case  of  the  ill- 
deserving  and  miserable,  sought  the  salvation  of  the 
race;  and  being  an  infinite  attribute,  sought,  we  may 
well  suppose,  the  salvation  of  the  whole  race.  Exist- 
ing together  in  the  divine  being,  these  infinite  attri- 
butes, though  differing  in  their  intrinsic  nature,  are 
perfectly  harmonious.  But  we  are  obliged  to  conceive 
that  the  exercise  of  one  may  check  the  exercise  of  the 
other.  Did  mercy  not  check  the  exercise  of  justice, 
the  whole  human  race  would  be  in  the  case  of  the 
fallen  angels.  None  would  be  saved.  Did  justice 
not  check  the  exercise  of  mercy,  the  whole  human 
race  would  be  saved.  None  would  be  lost.  So  prob- 
ably was  it  in  the  divine  settlement  of  the  question  as 
to  the  salvation  of  a  guilty  world.  It  pleased  God  in 
the  exercise  of  his  sovereign  will,  so  far  to  yield  to 
the  plea  of  mercy  as  to  determine,  npon  the  ground 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  277 

of  a  competent  mediation  and  substitution,  to  save 
some  of  the  fallen  race,  and  so  far  to  accede  to  the 
claim  of  justice  as  to  determine  to  leave  others  in  its 
hands.  But,  in  contemplating  the  sinful  mass,  God 
could  have  perceived  in  none  of  them  any  relations 
or  qualities  suited  to  elicit  the  love  of  complacency. 
The  Westminster  standards  say  that  "out  of  his  mere 
love"  he  determined  to  save  some;  but  from  the  na- 
ture of  the  case  that  love  could  not  have  been  at  first 
the  love  of  complacency.  It  must  have  been  the  love 
of  benevolence.  Having,  by  an  act  of  sovereign  will, 
decreed  to  elect  some  of  the  race  to  sah-ation,  and  hav- 
ing, consequently,  appointed  for  them  a  Redeemer,  he 
loved  them  with  the  peculiar  love  of  complacency. 
The  love  of  complacency  was  not  the  motive,  but  the 
fruit,  of  the  electing  decree.  This,  I  take  it,  was  the 
doctrine  of  those  theologians,  De  Moor  for  instance, 
who  held  that  Christ  was  not  "the  foundation  of 

If  these  views  be  correct,  it  will  be  seen,  that  in 
considering  the  relation  of  the  decrees  of  election  and 
reprobation  to  the  goodness  of  God,  the  question  is  ^ 
simply  in  regard  to  the  love  of  benevolence.  Is  it  to 
represent  God  as  having  acted  inconsistently  with  his 
love  of  benevolence  to  the  whole  human  race,  to  say, 
that,  conceiving  them  as  being  all  in  precisely  the 
same  condition,  he  decreed  to  save  some  and  to  im- 
part to  them  efficacious  grace  to  that  end,  and  to  pun- 
ish others,  and  therefore  to  withhold  such  grace  from 
them?  This  being  regarded  as  the  state  of  the  ques- 
tion, the  negative  will  now  be  maintained.  But  it 
must  be  noticed  that  the  Calvinist  is  not  bound  to 
show  that  the  decree  to  reprobate  the  wicked  was  the 

278     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Aniiinianism. 

product  of  benevolence.  It  is  enough  to  prove  that 
it  is  not  inconsistent  with  benevolence.  It  is  not  the 
Calvinist,  it  is  the  ]\Ioral  Influence  School,  that  is  re- 
sponsible for  the  wonderful  discovery  that  all  suffering 
is  the  fruit  of  love.  It  is  not  the  Calvinist  who  gal- 
lantly contends  that  it  is  love  which  breaks  the  crim- 
inal's neck  on  earth  and  sends  him  to  further  punish- 
ment in  hell.  He  refers  penal  suffering  not  to  love 
but  justice,  and  all  that  is  incumbent  on  him,  in  con- 
nection with  this  matter,  is  to  show  that  the  measures 
of  justice  are  not  inconsistent  with  the  requirements 
of  benevolence. 

(i.)  In  the  foregoing  remarks,  besides  the  adduc- 
tion of  evidence  that  the  Calvinistic  doctrines  under 
treatment  are  set  forth  in  Scripture,  the  attempt  was 
made  to  show  that  they  are  not  only  not  inconsistent, 
but  positively  consistent,  with  the  divine  justice,  in 
answer  to  the  objection  that  they  cannot  be  recon- 
ciled with  that  attribute.  If  that  argument  was  con- 
clusive, it  must  exert  a  controlling  influence  upon 
the  present  question.  It  has  been  already  observed 
that  the  acting  of  one  divine  attribute  may  clieck  and 
modify  that  of  another.  In  such  a  case,  the  divine 
wisdom  decides  to  what  extent  the  exercise  of  one 
should  limit  that  of  another.  But  supposing  that  one 
attribute  has  been  actually  exercised,  it  is  impossible 
to  conceive  that  such  an  exercise  can  be  inconsistent 
with  the  nature  of  any  other  attribute.  The  forth- 
putting  of  the  divine  energies  must  be  self-consistent, 
and  consistent  with  every  divine  perfection.  If,  tlien, 
the  reprobation  of  a  part  of  the  sinful  race  of  man  was 
just,  it  could  not  have  been  inconsistent  with  the  di- 
vine goodness.      Otherwise  one  attribute  would  liave 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  279 

been  exercised  at  the  expense  of  another,  and  there 
would  be  a  clash  between  the  infinite  perfections  of 
God  ;  and  that  is  an  impossible  supposition. 

For  aught  we  know,  the  divine  goodness  may  have 
suggested  the  salvation  of  the  fallen  angels,  of  some, 
or  of  all,  of  them.  But  on  the  supposition  that  such 
was  the  case,  the  determination  to  hold  them  under 
punishment,  and  the  actual  execution  of  that  purpose, 
were  certainly  consistent  with,  the  goodness  of  God. 
But  whether  goodness  suggested  or  not  their  salvation, 
it  is  a  fact  that  their  reprobation  was  decreed,  and  has 
been  carried  into  execution.  Was  this  procedure  in- 
consistent W'ith  the  divine  goodness?  Would  any 
one  who  reverences  God  take  that  ground?  But  if 
not,  why  should  the  reprobation  of  human  beings, 
who  by  their  own  fault  fell  into  sin,  be  deemed  in- 
consistent with  goodness?  If  the  reprobation  of  all 
the  fallen  angels  was  consistent  with  goodness,  why 
not  the  reprobation  o{  some  fallen  men? 

It  may  be  said  that  these  two  classes  of  beings  were 
so  differently  circumstanced  that  to  argue  from  the 
case  of  the  one  to  that  of  the  other  is  illegitimate. 
But  all  that  it  is  necessary  to  show,  in  order  to  bring 
the  two  cases  within  the  scope  of  this  argument,  is 
that  both  classes  of  beings  fell  by  their  own  fault, 
and  that,  therefore,  their  punishment  was  just.  This 
the  Arminian,  at  least,  cannot  deny  ;  and  the  asser- 
tion of  other  Anti-Calvinists  to  the  contrary  has  been 
met  and  disproved  by  the  preceding  argument. 

It  may  be  urged  that  it  is  possible  that  goodness 
did  not  effect  the  salvation  of  the  fallen  angels,  be- 
cause it  could  not,  consistently  with  justice;  but  that 
as  it  is  a  fact  that  goodness  did  propose,  consistently 

28o     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

with  justice,  the  salvation  of  some  human  beings,  it 
could  not  refrain  from  conferring  tlie  same  boon  upon 
all.  For  the  Calvinist  admits  that  the  satisfaction 
rendered  by  Christ  to  justice  furnished  a  sufficient 
basis  for  the  salvation  of  all  men  without  the  com- 
promise of  that  attribute.  To  this  it  may  be  replied: 
first,  what  goodness  could  or  could  not  have  effected 
consistently  with  justice  in  regard  to  the  salvation  of 
the  fallen  angels,  we  have  no  means  of  determining. 
We  argue  about  the  matter  from  ignorance.  Our 
premises  must  be  hypotheses,  and  the  whole  argu- 
ment hypothetical.  It  is  consequently  nothing 
worth.  Secondly,  it  is  admitted  that  God's  good- 
ness, for  aught  we  know,  might,  consistently  with 
justice,  have  accomplished  the  salvation  of  all  men. 
But  if  his  determination  not  to  save  all  men  was 
consistent  with  justice,  as  has  been  shown,  then  that 
determination  was  not  inconsistent  with  goodness. 
Here  the  Arminian  will  object  that  there  w^as  no 
divine  determination  not  to  save  all  men,  but  that 
the  divine  goodness  contemplated  the  salvation  of  all. 
Let  us  see.  Either  he  must  hold  that  God's  good- 
ness could  have  effected  the  salvation  of  all  men,  or 
that  it  could  not.  If  he  hold  that  it  could,  as  he 
admits  that  all  men  are  not  saved,  he  must  also  admit 
that  God  did  not  save  all  men  although  he  could 
have  done  it.  And  then  the  difficulty  of  reconciling 
the  destruction  of  some  with  the  divine  goodness 
bears  upon  him  equally  with  the  Calvinist.  If  he 
hold  that  the  divine  goodness  could  not  effect  the 
(salvation  of  all  men,  he  is  confronted  by  these  diffi- 
culties:— the  difficulty  that  the  will  of  man  effects 
what    the   goodness    of  God    could    not;    for,    if  the 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  281 

divine  ooodness  could  not  effect  the  salvation  of  all 
men,  for  the  same  reason,  whatever  it  may  be,  it 
could  not  effect  the  salvation  of  any.  But  some  are 
saved.  It  follows  that  they  accomplish  for  them- 
selves what  God's  goodness  could  not  do  for  them  ! 
Another  difficulty  is,  that  God  permitted  man  to  fall 
into  sin  with  the  foreknowledge  that  his  goodness 
could  not  effect  his  salvation,  and  that  some  men 
would  not  will  to  save  themselves,  but  Vv'ould  finally 
perish.  How  could  the  permission  of  the  Fall  be 
reconciled  with  the  divine  goodness  by  the  Arminian? 
He  might,  it  is  conceivable,  attempt  to  reconcile  it 
with  justice  on  the  ground  of  the  foreknowledge  that 
the  salvability  of  all  men  would  be  secured,  and 
salvation  would  be  offered  to  all.  But  he  could  not, 
on  his  principles,  harmonize  it  with  goodness. 
Another  difficulty  is,  that  those  who,  conscious 
through  the  force  of  sin  of  their  inability  to  accept 
the  offered  salvation,  pray  to  God  to  enable  them  to 
do  it,  would  pray  uselessly  and  hopelessly,  for  if  the 
prayer  were  answered  and  God  would  grant  the  de- 
sired help,  that  would  contradict  the  supposition 
that  God's  goodness  cannot  save  men.  And  so  as 
neither  God  could  save  them,  nor  they  save  them- 
selves, they  are  necessarily  lost.  And  this  God  must 
liave  foreknown.  What  becomes  of  the  Arminian  con- 
ception of  the  divine  goodness?  But  enougli  in  re- 
gard to  this  fatal  dilemma,  though  it  might  be  pressed 
further.  If  the  Arminian  contend  that  God  can  save 
men  and  will  not  save  some,  tlicn  as  to  the  difficulty 
sufTfrested  bv  oroodness  he  is  in  the  same  boat  with 
the  Calvinist.  If  he  contend  that  God  cannot  save 
men,  he  is  plunged  into  a  wilderness  of  absurdities 
and  self-contradictions. 

2S2     Calvinism  and  EvaJigclical  Arniinianisni. 

(2.)  The  finiteness  of  our  being,  and  the  consequent 
limitation  of  our  faculties,  the  fact  that  w^  are  sinful 
worms  of  the  dust  born  yesterday  and  crushed  before 
the  moth,  should  lead  us  to  be  modest  and  cautious 
in  pronouncing  upon  the  question,  what  is  required 
by  the  infinite  perfections  of  God  and  the  boundless 
interests  of  the  universe.  Occupying,  as  we  do,  so 
small  a  place  in  that  vast  scheme  of  moral  govern- 
ment wliich  embraces  in  its  scope  all  orders  of  being, 
in  the  whole  immortality  of  their  development,  what 
can  we  know  of  tlie  exigencies  of  such  a  system,  ex- 
cept as  the  all-wise  and  almighty  Ruler  shall  vouch- 
safe to  inform  us  in  the  communications  of  his  will  ? 
Now,  we  know,  because  he  has  ascertained  us  of  the 
fact,  that  the  angels  who  kept  not  their  first  estate  but 
revolted  against  his  government  have  not  been  saved 
from  the  retributive  consequences  of  their  fall.  The 
case  is  profoundly  mysterious  to  us,  in  view  of  the  fact 
that  redemption  has  been  provided  for  fallen  human 
beings.  But  mysterious  as  it  is,  it  is  a  revealed  fact. 
What  man  is  there,  then,  professing  reverence  for  the 
Supreme  Ruler  of  the  universe,  who  will  venture  to 
sit  in  judgment  on  the  case,  and  affirm  that  the  meas- 
ure which  consio-ned  the  whole  fallen  race  of  aneels 
to  hell  was  inconsistent  with  the  divine  q-oodness  ? 
Will  he  not  cover  his  niputh  with  his  hand,  lay  his 
mouth  in  the  dust  before  the  Majesty  on  high,  and 
humbly  confess  that  in  this  awful  procedure  he  acted 
alike  in  consistency  with  his  justice  and  his  goodness? 
What  other  course  could  such  a  man  take  ?  How 
could  he  pronounce  an  adverse  judgment  ?  What 
grounds  could  exist  for  it  ?  Has  he  the  consciousness 
of  God  that  he  can  determine  what  his  infinite  perfec- 


Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  283 

tions  demand — his  infinite  justice  which  will  not  com- 
pound with  the  violators  of  his  law,  his  infinite  holi- 
ness which  will  not  tolerate  the  least  degree  of  sin, 
but,  blazin;^  with  insufferable  bri^fhtness  before  cheru- 
bim  and  seraphim,  abashes  them  into  prostrate  ador- 
ation ?  Has  he  the  omniscience  of  God,  that  he  can 
grasp  the  far-reaching  and  all-comprehending  princi- 
ples of  his  moral  government,  and  say  how  they 
should  or  should  not  be  applied  ?  Has  he  the  love  of 
God  for  all  the  creatures  of  his  hand  and  the  subjects 
of  his  illimitable  sway,  that  he  can  judge  what  nreas- 
ures  are  necessary  or  suitable  to  promote  their  inter- 
ests ?  No;  all  the  pious,  while  they  adore  the  justice; 
of  God  in  the  reprobation  of  guilty  angels,  confess 
also  the  consistencv  of  that  awful  fact  with  the  orood- 
ness  of  God. 

The  same  considerations  should  lead  us  to  refrain 
from  questioning  the  goodness  of  God  in  reprobating 
guilty  men.  We  are  ignorant  of  the  case  as  a  whole, 
and  our  attitude  should  be  one  of  adoring  submission. 
What  essential  difference  is  there  between  the  case  of 
fallen  angels  and  that  of  fallen  men?  There  is  none, 
if  it  be  a  fact  that  both  classes  of  beings  fell  by  their 
own  fault.  A  provision  made  for  the  salvation  of 
some  of  the  fallen  race  of  men  and  effectually  applied 
to  that  end,  while  others  are  left  in  the  hands  of 
justice,  cannot  constitute  such  a  difference.  Had  not 
God  the  right  to  show  his  mercy  towards  some,  and 
to  continue  the  operation  of  his  justice  upon  others? 
And  if  it  be  a  fact  that  he  has  done  this,  why  should 
liis  reprobation  of  some  guilty  men  be  deemed  more 
inconsistent  with  goodness  than  his  reprobation  of  all 
guilty  angels? 

284     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

It  may  be  said  that  there  is  a  difference  between 
the  two  cases,  created  by  the  different  modes  in  which 
the  two  classes  of  beings  came  to  sin  ;  for  each  angel, 
being  on  his  own  foot,  fell  by  his  own  conscious  sin, 
whereas  men  are  held  accountable  for  the  sin  of  a 
federal  head.  But,  in  the  first  place,  we  know  too 
little  of  the  trenesis  of  ano-elic  sin  to  dos^matize  about 
it.  In  the  second  place,  we  do  know  that  both  angels 
and  men  were  probationers,  that  they  were  endowed 
with  sufficient  ability  to  obey  the  divine  law,  and 
that  their  disobedience  and  fall  were  inexcusable  and 
condemnable.  And  in  the  third  place,  this  exception 
to  the  community  between  the  two  cases  is  incompe- 
tent to  the  Arminian,  who  admits  the  accountability 
of  the  human  race  for  the  sin  of  their  head. 

It  will  be  also  said,  that  all  men  might  have  been 
saved  consistently  with  justice,  since  perfect  satisfac- 
tion was  rendered  by  Christ  to  justice.  As  justice 
opposed  no  obstacle  to  the  salvation  of  all,  why  did 
not  goodness  effect  it?  How  can  the  refusal  to  ac- 
complish it,  under  such  conditions,  be  reconciled  to 
goodness?  Again  we  are  obliged,  if  reverent  and 
sober,  to  remember  our  ignorance.  How  can  we  be 
perfectly  sure  that  the  perfections  of  God  and  the 
interests  of  his  moral  government  did  not  require, 
notwithstanding  the  discharge  of  some  of  the  original 
transgressors  of  law  through  a  commutation  of  parties 
and  the  substitution  of  Christ  in  their  place,  that 
some  of  them  should  be  left  under  the  operation  of 
justice?  How  can  we  determine  that  this  was  not  as 
well  a  beneficent  as  a  righteous  measure  to  deter,  by 
so  fearful  an  example,  other  subjects  of  the  divine 
government  from  yielding  to  the  temotation  to  revolt 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodnc 


O  - 

in    the    hope    of  experiencing   easy  pardon    through 
vicarious  interposition?     I  venture  not  to  assert  that 
these  things  are  so,  but  if  they  are  possible,  that  con- 
sideration's sufficient  to  prevent  our  filing  an  objec- 
tion   to  God's  reprobation   of  some   human   sinners, 
because  zve  judge  that  if  his  goodness  saves  some  of 
mankind  consistently  with  justice,  it  ought  to  save  all. 
It   deserves  to  be  noticed,  that  in  the  case  of  the 
fallen  angels  we  behold   the  severity  of  God  untem- 
pered  by'' goodness  to  them,  but  in  that  of  men  we 
behold  ills  goodness  and  severity;  to  them  who  are 
saved  goodness,  but  to  them  who  are   lost  severity. 
There  ts,  also,  in  the  angelic  case,  the  direct  exercise 
of  justice  consistently  with  goodness,  and  in  the  hu- 
man case,  the  direct  exercise  of  goodness  consistently 
with  justice.     In  the  former,  all  are  punished  by  jus- 
tice, goodness  concurring;  in  the  latter  only  some  are 
punished  by  justice,  goodness  concurring,  while  some 
are  postive'ly  saved  by  goodness,  justice  concurring. 
Manifestly,  while  there  is  equal  justice  in  both  cases, 
there  is  more  of  goodness  in  the  human;  and  were  we 
foreigners  to  the  human  race  as  we  are  to  the  angelic, 
and  "looked  upon  both  cases  as  we  look  upon  that  of 
the   fallen  angels,  such,  no  doubt,  would  be  our  im- 
partial judgment.  _    ^    _ 

(3.)  The  Arminian,  who  objects  to  the  Calvinistic 
doctrines  of  election  and  reprobation  on  the  ground 
of  their  inconsistency  with  divine  goodness,  should 
reflect  that  his  own  doctrine  needs  to  be  defended 
against  the  same  objection.  His  doctrine  is  that  God 
provided  redemption  for  the  whole  human  race,  that 
Christ  as  its  substitute  offered  atonement  for  every  in- 
dividual member  of  it,  and  that  the  effect  of  this  re- 

286     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianisni. 

deeming-  provision  operating-  through  an  universal 
atonement  has  been  to  secure,  not  the  certain  salva- 
tion of  any  man,  but  the  possible  salvation — the  sal- 
vability — of  every  man.  It  is  not  now  intended  to 
discuss  the  correctness  of  this  doctrine,  but  to  raise 
the  question,  whether  it  can  be  shown  to  be  consist- 
ent with  divine  goodness;  whether  it  be  free  from  the 
charge  of  inconsistency  with  that  attribute  which  its 
advocates  press  upon  the  Calvinistic  doctrine. 

First,  it  has  already  been  evinced  that  Arminian 
theologians  admit,  that  the  constitution  by  which  the 
race  was  held  accountable  for  the  sin  of  iVdam,  con- 
sidered in  itself,  apart  from  a  purpose  of  redemption 
which  accompanied  it,  would  have  been  unjust.  It 
does  not  require  formal  argument  to  prove  that  they 
are  under  the  necessity  of  also  admitting  that  for  sim- 
ilar reasons  that  constitution,  regarded  in  itself,  sepa- 
rately from  a  purpose  of  redemption  which  attended 
it,  would  have  been  unkind.  But  if,  as  has  also  been 
clearly  shown,  a  provision  of  redemption  which  was 
intended  to  deliver  men  from  the  disastrous  results 
foreknown  to  accrue  from  that  constitution  could  not 
relieve  it  from  the  charge  of  intrinsic  injustice,  so 
neither  could  it  rid  it  of  the  imputation  of  intrinsic 
unkindness.  Now,  this  would  necessarily  have  been 
true,  even  if  the  redeeming  provision  had  made  the 
salvation  of  every  man  absolutely  certain.  The  Ar- 
minian scheme  is  loaded  with  this  difficulty  at  its  very 
start.  But  this  is  not  all;  the  difficulty  is  greatly  en- 
hanced by  the  position  that  the  provision  of  redemp- 
tion was  not  intended  to  secure  the  certain  salvation 
of  every  man  from  the  consequences  of  the  Fall.  It 
was  only  designed  to  make  it  possible.     It  secured  the 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  287 

possibility  of  deliverance  from  the  efTects  of  the  un- 
kindness  done  him  in  the  Adamic  constitution.  But 
it  is  urged  that  it  is  men's  own  fault  if  they  avail  not 
themselves  of  the  deliverance  tendered  them.  Yes, 
but  until  the  tender  is  actually  made  them,  they  suffer 
from  the  unkindness  done  them.  And  more  than 
this:  their  refusal  of  the  tendered  salvation — and 
many  refuse  it — is  instigated  by  the  corrupt  principle 
which  through  unkiudness  they  derived  from  a  con- 
nectiou  with  Adam  to  which  "  they  were  not  consent- 
ing." Is  it  not,  in  view^  of  these  considerations,  evi- 
dent that  the  Arminian  has  a  hard  task  when  he 
undertakes  to  exhibit  the  consistency  of  his  doctrine 
with  divine  goodness — hard  enough,  at  least,  to  make 
him  less  forward  in  urging  against  the  Calvinistic 
doctrine  the  charge  of  inconsistency  with  the  benev- 
olence of  God. 

Secondly,  the  case  of  the  heathen  is  a  stumbling- 
stone  to  the  Arminian  scheme.  According  to  that 
scheme,  the  provision  of  redemption  was  made  for  all 
mankind,  the  atoning  death  of  Christ  was  intended  to 
confer  saving  benefits  upon  all  without  distinction. 
Discrimination  between  individuals  w^ould  not  be 
consistent  with  divine  goodness.  The  love  of  God 
was  catholic,  it  terminated  upon  every  soul  of  man. 
Hence  Christ  died  for  every  individual  of  the  race — 
that  is,  he  died  for  every  man  to  make  the  salvation 
of  every  man  possible.  Consequently,  the  offer  of 
salvation  is  to  be  extended  to  every  man,  so  as  to 
give  him  the  opportunity  of  accepting  it;  his  own 
free  acceptance  of  it  being  the  divinely  appointed 
condition  of  his  possible  salvation  becoming  to  him 
an  actual  salvation.     To  this  end,   the  grace  of  the 

288      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

Holy  Spirit,  acquired  for  the  whole  race  by  the  merits 
of  Christ,  is  given  to  every  nian  to  assist  him  to  ac- 
cept the  offer,  to  incline  his  will  to  avail  itself  of  it 
and  so  determine  the  question  of  his  salvation. 

At  first  view  it  would  appear  as  if  the  benevolence 
of  God  were  highly  exemplified  in  this  scheme,  which 
inchides  within  its  ample  and  generous  scope  every 
individual  of  our  fallen  and  hapless  race;  especially 
when  it  is  contrasted  with  the  narrower  and  more  con- 
tracted scheme  of  the  Calvinist,  which,  although  it 
asserts  not  a  merely  possible  but  a  certain  salvation, 
confines  its  benefits  to  the  elect.  But  a  formidable 
difficulty  at  once  springs  up  and  opposes  this  judg- 
ment. The  HEATHEN,— v/hat  of  them?  Their 
salvation  was  made  possible  by  the  redemptive  pro- 
vision. Christ  died  to  make  their  salvation  possible. 
The  blessings  he  purchased  by  his  blood  were  in- 
tended for  every  soul  of  man,  and,  therefore,  intended 
for  them.  Now,  how  comes  it  to  pass  that  goodness 
so  extraordinarily  manifested  in  making  this  pro- 
vision for  their  salvation,  does  not  inform  them  that 
it  was  made?  It  is  possible  for  them  now  to  partake 
of  it  and  be  saved — to  eat  of  the  abundant  bread,  to 
drink  of  the  living  water  and  quaff  the  refreshing 
wine.  But  the  heathen  know  nothiuQ-  of  this.  It  is 
their  designation  —  their  definition,  that  they  are 
ignorant  of  the  gospel.  None  who  know  the  gospel, 
however  imperfectly,  can  properly  be  denominated 
heathen.  But  there  are  millions  of  heathen,  strictly 
so  called;  human  beings  who  have  no  knowledge 
whatsoever  of  the  gospel  and  the  scheme  of  redemp- 
tion it  reveals.  The  question  must  be  answered. 
Where,  so  far  as  they  are  concerned,  is  the  goodness 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  289 

in  making  the  redeeming  provision?  But  it  was 
made  for  them.  Well,  of  what  avail  is  it  to  them 
unless  they  know  that  fact?  Where  is  the  goodness 
in  concealing  from  some  of  the  beneficiaries  of  the 
redemptive  provision  the  fact  that  it  was  made  for 
them'?  The  provision  was  made  for  all,  but  only  a 
few  comparatively  know  of  it.  Why  does  not  the 
goodness  that  filled  the  storehouse  and  threw  open  its 
doors  invite  all  the  starving  to  come  and  partake? 
Why  are  the  invitations  extended  only  to  some? 
Surely,  it  is  difficult  to  reconcile  this  amazing  fact 
with  goodness. 

It  is  in  vain  to  reply  that  the  invitation  is  extended 
to  all.     How,  we  ask,  is  it  extended?     If  the  answer 
be    In  the  Bible;  Yes,   we  rejoin,   but   the   heathen 
know  nothing  of  the  Bible.     The  invitation  is  on  the 
card    but  the  card  is  not  sent  to  the  heathen.     If  it 
have  been  already  extended,  why  send  foreign  mission- 
aries   at  great  sacrifice  to  themselves  and  heavy  ex- 
pense to  the  church,  to  convey  it  to  them?     Do  they 
not  make  the  first  ofibr  of  the  gospel  to  the  contem- 
porary heathen?     No,  the  invitation  has  not  been  ex- 
tended   to   all   of  them,    although    the   provision    is 
affirmed  to  have  been  made  for  all.     The  question  is 
repeated.    How  is    this  reconcilable  with  goodness? 
Were  one  disposed  to  imitate  the  example  of  some 
Arminian  objectors  to  the  Calvinistic  scheme,  it  would 
be  easy  to    paint   harrowing  rhetorical    pictures,    in 
order  to  aggravate  the  force  of  this_  difficulty.     But 
the  purpose  is  to  argue  and  not  declaim. 

It  would  be  equally  vain  to  say,  that  the  heathen 
mav  know  of  the  redemptive  provision  made  for  them 
if  they  would.     For  the  question  is,  how  they  could 

290     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

will  to  know  of  it.  If  they  have  no  information  of 
its  existence^  how  conld  they  desire  its  knowledge  f 
Will  it  be  said,  that  the  means  of  intercommunication 
between  the  different  parts  of  the  w^orld  are  so  great, 
that  the  knowledge  of  the  gospel  scheme  is  accessible 
to  them?  The  ready  answer  is,  How  would  that 
affect  the  heathen  who  lived  in  past  centuries  of  the 
Christian  era,  not  to  speak  of  the  unnumbered  myri- 
ads who  preceded  it  in  time?  They  had  not  the 
benefit  of  this  modern  intercommunication  between 
races.  But  take  the  case  of  contemporary  heathen, 
and  it  cannot  be  foro^otten  that  if  the  knowledore  of 
the  gospel  plan  be  accessible  to  them,  on  the  supposi- 
tion that  they  would  put  forth  efforts  to  acquire  it, 
they  have  no  disposition  to  seek  it.  It  is  one  of  the 
results  of  acquaintance  wnth  the  gospel  that  the  dis- 
position to  know  it  is  engendered.  Even  when  it  is 
made  known,  vast  numbers  of  the  heathen  actually 
reject  it.  What  room,  then,  is  there  for  holding  that 
they  might  know  of  the  provision  of  redemption 
made  for  them,  if  they  would?  Their  corrupt  na- 
tures preclude  their  being  willing  to  acquire  the 
knowledge.  The  gospel  must  be  sent  to  them,  else 
they  will  not  hear  it  ;  they  must  hear,  else  they  will 
not  believe;  they  must  believe,  else  they  perish. 
Such  is  Paul's  argument.^  How  then  can  the  provi- 
dence which  fails  to  acquaint  the  heathen  with  the 
redeeming  provision  made  for  them  be,  on  the  Ar- 
minian  scheme,  harmonized  with  goodness? 

Further,  it  is  a  cardinal  element  of  the  Arminian 
system  that  the  actual  experience  of  salvation  is  sus- 
pended upon  the  voluntary  accceptance  of  it.     Men 

^  Rom.  X. 

Objectio)i  from  Divine  Goodfiei>s.  291 

must  not  be  constrained  by  efficacious  grace  to  accept 
it.  Grace  cannot  make  them  willing.  Their  power 
of  otherwise  determining  is  inalienable.  Did  they 
not  possess  the  power  of  self-determination  in  refer- 
ence to  the  question  of  accepting  the  offer  of  salva- 
tion, they  would  cease  to  be  men.  If  converted  by 
efficacious  grace,  they  would  not  be  converted  men, 
but  converted  machines.  Men,  however  assisted  by 
grace,  must,  at  last,  by  a  choice  of  their  own  wills, 
which  might  reject  it,  accept  the  offer  of  salvation. 
If  this  be  not  conceded  to  be  an  element  of  the  Ar- 
minian  system,  its  chief  differentiating  feature  is 
denied.  Without  it,  its  distinctive  existence,  as  a 
coherent  system,  would  cease. 

This  being  the  case,  how  does  it  consist  with  good- 
ness, that  the  opportunity  to  fulfil  the  condition  upon 
which  the  experience  of  salvation  is  suspended,  is  not 
given  to  some  of  those  for  whom  redemption  was  pro- 
vided ?  It  being  necessary  to  their  participation  of 
its  blessings  that  they  should,  in  the  free  exercise  of 
their  own  wills,  accept  the  offer  of  them,  how  does  it 
consist  with  goodness  that  the  offer  is  not  extended  to 
them  ?  If  it  be  not  extended  to  them,  they  cannot 
accept  it;  if  they  do  not  accept  it,  they  cannot  be 
saved.  But  it  is  an  undeniable  fact,  that  the  offer  has 
not  in  the  past,  and  is  not  now,  extended  to  myriads 
of  the  heathen  world.      The  difficulty  is  insuperable. 

To  avoid  this  difficulty,  it  may  be  said  that  the 
heathen  who  know  not  the  gospel  may  be  saved 
through  the  benefits  of  the  atonement  indirectly  ap- 
plied to  them.  But  this  supposition  is  in  flat  contra- 
diction to  the  fundamental  element  of  the  Arminian 
scheme  just  signalized — namely,  that  men  must  freely 

292     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

accept  the  offer  of  salvation  in  order  to  experience  its 
benefits.  Both  cannot  be  true.  Which  alternative 
will  be  elected  ?  If  the  former,  the  integrity  of  the 
Arminian  system  is  sacrificed;  if  the  latter,  the  salva- 
tion of  the  heathen  is  pronounced  impossible;  and  the 
difficulty  suggested  by  goodness  re-appears  and  asserts 
itself  in  all  its  formidable  force. 

Again,  this  indirect  application  of  the  redeeming 
provision  to  the  heathen  must  be  held  to  be  either  not 
saving,  or  saving.  If  it  be  held  to  be  not  saving,  of 
what  use  is  it?  What  real  benefit  does  it  confer? 
It  could  not  be  a  measure  of  goodness,  certainly  not 
of  saving  goodness.  If  it  be  held  to  be  saving,  the 
question  must  be  met.  How  is  it  saving?  That  which 
leads  to  salvation  must  lead  to  holiness.  Will  it  be 
contended  that  this  indirect  application  of  the  bene- 
fits of  redemption  contributes  to  the  holiness  of  the 
heathen  ?  Facts  contradict  so  wild  an  hypothesis. 
What  is  accomplished  ?  Not  faith  in  Christ,  not  re- 
pentance for  sin,  not  godly  living.  What,  then?  Are 
the  heathen  taken  to  heaven  and  made  partakers  of 
its  holy  fellowship  and  employments  without  any 
spiritual  preparation  for  such  a  change?  Surely  not. 
It  would  seem  then  that  no  saving  benefit  is  conferred 
upon  them  by  this  fancied  application  of  redemption 
indirectly  to  their  case.  The  truth  is,  the  supposition 
is  too  extravagant  to  be  gravely  supported,  or  to  de- 
serve serious  refutation.  We  have  not  yet  discovered 
the  goodness  which  is  manifested  to  the.  heathen 
through  the  provision  of  redemption.  But  let  us 
pursue  the  quest. 

It  may  be  said  that  as  infants  may  unconsciously 
receive  the  benefits  of  atonement  and  the  reeenera- 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  293 

ting  grace  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  tliey  being  incapable 
of  understanding  the  truth  or  apprehending  the  gos- 
pel offer,  so  may  it  be  with  the  heathen.  But,  let  us 
know  what  heathen  are  meant.  Is  it  heathen  infants 
dying  in  infancy  ?  That  is  not  denied.  But  that  is 
not  the  question.  The  question  is  in  regard  to  adult 
heathen.  If  they  be  put  into  the  category  of  saved 
infants,  then  they  must  be  dealt  wuth  as  saved  infants 
are  dealt  with.  They  must  be  purged  from  the  guilt 
of  original  sin  and  regenerated  by  the  grace  of  the 
Spirit,  and  that  must  be  accomplished  for  them  with- 
out their  consciousness  of  the  influences  exerted  upon 
them,  or  the  change  of  state  and  character  effected, 
and  without  their  active  concurrence  with  the  work 
of  the  Spirit.  Is  it  thus  that  God  deals  with  adult 
sinners,  with  fully  developed  and  atrociously  wicked 
sinners?  Is  it  thus  that  he  sovereignly  saves  them 
without  any  action  of  their  own  wnlls?  Is  it  thus 
that  Arminians  glorify  sovereign  grace?  Verily 
those  who  would  take  this  ground  w^ould  out-Calvin 
Calvin  in  their  maintenance  of  unconditional  salva- 
tion. Nor  is  this  the  worst  of  it.  These  people  who 
like  infant  sinners  are  justified  and  regenerated,  live 
on  as  adult  sinners,  perpetrating  crimes  which  are 
the  climax  of  wickedness,  substituting  idols  in  the 
place  of  the  living  God,  unconscious  that  they  had 
been  born  again  into  the  kingdom  of  grace  and  justi- 
fied by  the  blood  of  Christ,  or  that  they  had  lapsed 
from  the  possession  of  these  inestimable  blessings ! 
And  these  are  the  people  to  whom  as  to  infants  dying 
in  infancy  the  provision  of  redemption  is  indirectly 
applied  ! 

To  meet  this  formidable  difficulty  growing  out  of 

294      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisin. 

the  consideration  that  the  goodness  which  made  a 
provision  of  redemption  for  all  men  has  not  pnblished 
the  fact  to  all,  it  has  been  maintained  that  the 
heathen  really  have  access  to  some  knowledge  of  the 
gospel;  for,  they  live  under  the  patriarchal  dispensa- 
tion and  have  some  traditional  acquaintance  with  the 
first  promise  of  redemption  for  man  which  was  its 
characteristic  element.  Had  this  view  not  beeu 
seriously  advocated  by  a  distinguished  theologian,^ 
it  might  be  deemed  a  shadow  conjured  up  merely  for 
the  sake  of  argument.  A  few  remarks  will  be  made 
with  reference  to  it: 

In  the  first  place,  every  dispensation  of  the  gospel, 
except  the  final,  is,  from  the  nature  of  the  case, 
bounded  by  definite  limits.  When,  in  the  develop- 
ment of  the  divine  plan,  it  has  accomplished  its  end, 
it  expires  by  its  own  limitation.  It  gives  place  to 
another,  for  which  it  has  prepared  the  way ;  another, 
in  a  measure  evolved  out  of  it  by  an  expansion  of  its 
principles,  but  also  specifically  marked  off  from  it  by 
new  supernatural  revelations  and  new  facts  and  ele- 
ments. When  the  new  begins,  the  old  vanishes — it 
ceases,  as  a  dispensation,  to  exist.  Each  dispensa- 
tion of  the  gospel  must  be  regarded  as  a  special  form 
of  administration  of  the  covenant  of  grace.  There  is 
an  essence  which  is  common  to  all  the  dispensations. 
It  is  the  saving  provisions  of  the  covenant.  This 
essential  feature  passes  from  one  dispensation  to 
another.  It  is  a  fixed  and  invariable  quantity.  But 
there  are  also  specific  features  which  as  peculiar  to 
each  dispensation  are  accidental  and  temporary.  It 
is  these  which  give  to  each   its  cast.     When    they 

^  Richard  Watson. 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  295 

cease,  the  dispensation  as  such  ceases.  Its  distinctive 
law  is  no  more  operative.  The  covenant,  as  to  its 
essential  provisions,  is  permanent,  but  the  special 
form  of  its  administration  is  abrogated,  and  another 
is  substituted  in  its  room.  This  is  the  argument  of 
the  writer  of  the  Epistle  to  the  Hebrews,  in  the 
seventh  and  eighth  chapters:  "If,  therefore,  perfec- 
tion were  by  the  Levitical  priesthood,  (for  under  it 
the  people  received  the  law,)  what  further  need  was 
there  that  another  priest  should  rise  after  the  order  of 
Melchisedec,  and  not  be  called  after  the  order  of 
Aaron?  For  the  priesthood  being  changed,  there  is 
made  of  necessity  a  change  also  of  the  law."  "For 
if  that  first  covenant  had  been  faultless,  then  should 
no  place  have  been  sought  for  the  second.  For  find- 
ing fault  with  them,  he  saith.  Behold,  the  days  come, 
saith  the  Lord,  when  I  will  make  a  new  covenant 
with  the  house  of  Israel  and  with  the  house  of  Judah. 
.  .  .  In  that  he  saith,  A  new  covenant,  he  hath 
made  the  first  old.  Now  that  which  decayeth  and 
waxeth  old  is  ready  to  vanish  aw^ay."  The  meaning 
could  not  be  that  the  covenant  of  grace  as  to  its  es- 
sential features  was  about  to  vanish  away,  but  the 
special  form  in  which  it  had  last  been  administered — 
the  Mosaic  dispensation.  That  was  decaying  and 
waxing  old,  and  was  ready  to  vanish  away. 

If  the  Jew  should  now  claim,  because  he  has  the 
knowledge  of  the  Mosaic  dispensation,  that  he  is  liv- 
ing under  it  as  one  in  present  operation,  the  Christian 
would  reply  that  he  makes  a  grievous  mistake:  that 
dispensation,  having  discharged  its  typical  and  tem- 
porary office,  has  passed  away  and  given  place  to  the 
Christian  dispensation.     The  argument  is  a  fortiori  \n 

296     Calzrinism  and  Evaitgelical  A7^m{nianism, 

respect  to  the  Patriarchal  dispensation.  That,  thou- 
sands of  years  ago,  gave  way  to  the  Mosaic,  as  the 
Mosaic  has  now  made  room  for  the  Christian.  Be- 
tween the  time  of  its  abrogation  and  the  present,  one 
whole  dispensation  and  part  of  the  history  of  another 
have  intervened.  It  died,  as  a  dispensation,  ages  ago. 
To  say  then  that  the  heathen  live  under  it,  is  to  affirm, 
in  the  face  of  facts  and  inspired  testimony  alike,  its 
present  existence  and  operation. 

But  it  may  be  contended  that  a  knowledge  of  the 
first  promise  may  survive  the  dispensation  which  con- 
tained it.  If  by  this  is  meant  a  knowledge  that  there 
was  such  a  promise,  who  v>^ould  deny  the  proposition  ? 
Christians  know  that  such  a  promise  once  existed,  but 
they  also  know  that  the  dispensation  which  contained 
it  once  existed.  Of  what  value  is  such  historical 
knowledge  to  the  heathen,  even  if  it  be  supposed  that 
they  have  it?  Can  it  contribute  to  their  salvation? 
But  the  promise,  as  such,  no  longer  exists.  It  has 
been  fulfilled,  and  therefore  it  necessarily  expired. 
How  can  there  be  a  promise  of  what  has  been  ?  To 
say,  then,  that  the  heathen  may  be  saved  through  a 
knowledge  of  the  first  promise,  is  to  say  that  they 
may  be  saved  through  a  knowledge  of  nothing.  \i 
they  believe  that  the  promise  still  exists,  they  believe 
a  delusion.     Can  that  save  them  ? 

So  was  it  with  animal  sacrifices.  They  were  typi- 
cal promises  of  the  atoning  death  of  Christ.  That 
having  been  accomplished,  they  necessarily  ceased. 
To  maintain  them  still  is  to  deny  the  past  fact  of 
Christ's  death,  and  that  would  be  anti-Christian.  To 
maintain  them  in  ignorance  of  the  testimony  that 
Christ  has  died,  is  to  maintain  senseless  and  empty 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  297 

rites,  which  can  no  longer  be  types,  and  therefore 
have  no  right  to  exist.  The  heathen  conseqnently 
cannot  be  led  throngh  animal  sacrifices  to  a  saving 
knowledge  of  redemption.  No  knowledge  of  the 
Patriarchal  dispensation  and  the  first  promise  an- 
nonnced  by  it,  which  the  heathen  may  be  imagined 
to  possess,  conld  be  to  them  a  medinm  of  salvation. 

In  the  second  place,  it  is  nnsupposable  that  they 
retain  snch  knowledge  in  sufficient  degree  to  make  it 
saving.  IMnltitndes  of  the  heathen  received  a  knowl- 
edge  of  the  gospel  throngh  the  preaching  of  the 
apostles,  of  their  contemporary  fellow-laborers  and  of 
the  evangelists  who  succeeded  them.  But  they  have 
lost  it.  What  reason  is  there  for  supposing  that  they 
retain  a  knowledge  of  the  indistinct  elements  of  the 
Patriarchal  dispensation,  when  they  have  forgotten 
the  clearer  provisions  and  the  glorious  facts  of  the 
Christian?  Is  it  at  all  likely  that  traditions  coming 
down  from  a  period  hoary  with  age  would  survive 
those  descending  from  one  more  recent? 

But  why  argue  this  question?  One  cannot  avoid 
the  consciousness  that  in  discussing  it  he  is  acting 
uselessly  and  preposterously.  Facts  prove  that  the 
heathen  have  no  such  knowledge  of  the  first  gospel 
promise  as  is  alleged.  No  missionary  encounters  it. 
It  is  a  mere  dream  that  it  exists.  And  the  conviction 
that  it  does  not,  furnishes  a  ground  for  those  mission- 
ary labors  which  Arminian  bodies  are  prosecuting,  at 
so  great  an  expenditure  of  men  and  means,  among 
the  heathen  tribes  of  earth.  To  say  that  these  noble 
efforts  find  a  sufficient  reason  in  the  need  which  the 
heathen  have  of  clearer  light  than  they  already  pos- 
sess would  be  to  threaten  them  with  extinction.     We 

29S     Calvtnis77i  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

may  safely  oppose  the  practical  work  of  Foreign  Mis- 
sions to  all  hypotheses  which  assume  for  the  heathen 
any  knowledge  whatsoever  of  the  provisions  of  the 

To  conclude  this  particular  argument:  if  the  heathen 
have  not  been  informed  of  that  provision  of  redemp- 
tion which,  it  is  contended,  was  made  for  all  mankind 
and  consequently  for  them,  how  is  that  amazing  fact 
to  be  reconciled  with  divine  goodness  ?  The  Armin- 
ian,  who  has  this  gigantic  difficulty  to  meet,  may  well 
refrain  from  objecting  to  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  that 
it  is  inconsistent  with  the  goodness  of  God.  His  own 
hands  are  full. 

Thirdly,  it  is  impossible  to  prove,  that  a  scheme 
which  provides  for  the  possible  salvation  of  all  men 
more  conspicuously  displays  the  divine  goodness  than 
one  which  secures  the  certain  salvation  of  some  men. 
The  words,  atonement  offered  for  all  men,  universal 
atonement,  Christ  died  to  save  all  men,  Christ  died 
for  every  soul  of  man, — these  words  are  very  attract- 
ive. They  seem  to  breathe  a  philanthropy  which  is 
worthy  of  God.  But  let  us  not  be  imposed  upon  by 
the  beauty  or  pomp  of  mere  phrases.  What  is  the 
exact  meaning  of  the  language  ?  It  is  elliptical,  and, 
to  be  understood,  must  be  filled  out.  The  meaning 
is,  that  atonement  was  offered  for  all  men,  that  Christ 
died  for  all  men,  merely  to  make  the  salvation  of  all 
men  possible:  therefore  the  meaning  is  not  what  the 
language  appears  to  imply — namely,  that  atonement 
was  offered  for  all  men  to  secure  their  salvation;  that 
Christ  died  to  save  all  men.  That  is  explicitly  de- 
nied. It  is  the  heresy  of  Universalism.  Let  it  be 
noticed — attention  is  challenged  to  it — that,  upon  the 


Objectioji  from  Divine  Goodness.  299 

Arminian  scheme,  the  whole  result  of  the  atonement, 
of  the  death  of  Christ,  of  the  mission  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  is  the  sal-ability  of  all  men— the  possible  sal- 
vation of  all.  Dispel  the  glamor  from  these  charm- 
ing words,  and  that  is  absolutely  all  that  they  mean. 
But  let  us  go  on.  What  precisely  is  meant  by  the 
possible  salvation  of  all  men  ?  It  cannot  mean  the 
probable  salvation  of  all  men.  If  it  did,  the  word 
probable  yNOwX^  have  been  used;  but  facts  would  have 
contradicted  the  theory.  Not  even  the  Arminian 
would  assert  the  probable  salvation  of  all  men,  in 
consequence  of  the  atonement.  It  is  then  only  a  pos- 
sible salvation  that  is  intended.  Now  what  makes 
the  salvation  of  all  possible?  It  is  granted,  that  all 
obstacles  in  the  way  of  any  sinner's  return  to  God 
are,  on  God's  side,  removed.  The  Calvinist  admits 
that,  equally  with  the  Arminian.  Where  then  lies 
the  difference?  What  does  the  Arminian  mean  by  a 
salvation  possible  to  all  ?  He  means  a  salvation  that 
may  be  secured,  if  the  human  will  consent  to  receive 
it.  To  give  this  consent  it  is  persuaded  by  grace. 
But  it  is  not  constrained  by  grace  to  give  it.  It 
holds  the  decision  of  the  question  in  its  power.  It 
may  accept  the  offered  salvation;  it  may  not.  The 
whole  thing  is  contingent  upon  the  action  of  the 
sinner's  will.  This  is  what  makes  the  salvation  of 
all  men  merely  possible;  and  it  inevitably  follows 
that  the  destruction  of  all  men  is  also  possible. 

I  shall,  with  divine  help,  presently  prove  that  a 
possible  salvation,  contingent  upon  the  action  of  a 
sinner's  will,  is  really  an  impossible  salvation.  But 
conceding  now,  for  argument's  sake,  that  there  is  such 
a  thing  as  a  merely  possible  salvation  of  all  men,  it  is 

300     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

repeated,  that  it  cannot  be  shown  to  exhibit  the 
beneficence  of  God  one  whit  more  clearly  than  does 
the  certain  salvation  of  some  men.  Upon  the  Cal- 
vinistic  scheme,  the  absolnte  certainty  of  the  salva- 
tion of  countless  multitudes  of  the  race  is  provided 
for;  on  the  Arminian,  the  certainty  of  the  salvation 
of  not  one  human  being  is  provided  for.  But  let  it 
be  admitted  that  although  not  provided  for,  yet  in 
some  way,  the  final  result  will  in  fact  prove  to  be  the 
certain  salvation  of  countless  multitudes.  How  can 
the  Arminian  show  that  these  multitudes  will  exceed 
in  number  those  which  are  saved  upon  the  Calvinistic 
scheme?  He  can  not.  The  human  faculties  have 
no  data  upon  which  they  can  institute  such  an  equa- 
tion. But  until  that  is  shown,  it  is  impossible  to  see 
how  his  scheme  more  signally  displays  the  saving 
goodness  of  God  than  the  Calvinist's.  One  thing  is 
clear:  according  to  the  Calvinistic  doctrine,  those 
who  are  saved  will  praise  God's  goodness  for  hav- 
ing saved  them;  and,  according  to  the  Arminian, 
they  will  praise  his  goodness  for  having  made  it  pos- 
sible for  them  to  be  saved.  Which  would  be  the 
directer  tribute  to  the  divine  benevolence,  it  may  be 
left  to  common  sense  to  judge. 

The  Arminian,  however,  if  he  should  candidly 
admit  that  his  scheme  labors  under  the  difficulties 
which  have  been  mentioned,  will  still  reply,  that  it 
has,  in  regard  to  goodness,  this  advantage  over  the 
Calvinistic:  that  it  makes  possible  the  salvation  of 
those  whose  salvation  the  Calvinistic  scheme  makes 
impossible.  He  charges,  that  while  the  Calvinistic 
scheme  makes  the  salvation  of  some  certain,  it  makes 
the  destruction  of  some  equally  certain.      The  one 

Objection  frojn  Divine  Goodness.  301 

scheme  opens  the  door  of  hope  to  all;  the  other 
closes  it  against  some.  This,  it  is  contended,  cannot 
be  shown  to  consist  with  the  goodness  of  God.  It  is 
not  intended  to  deny  that  this  is  a  difficulty  which 
the  Calvinistic  scheme  has  to  carry.  Its  adherents 
are  sufficiently  aware  of  the  awful  mystery  which 
hangs  round  this  subject,  and  of  the  limitations  upon 
their  faculties,  to  deter  them  from  arrogantly  claim- 
ing to  understand  the  whole  case.  The  difficulty  is 
this:  If  God  can,  on  the  ground  of  the  all-sufficient 
merit  of  Christ,  save  those  who  actually  perish,  why 
does  not  his  goodness  lead  him  to  save  them?  Why, 
if  he  know  that,  without  his  efficacious  grace,  they 
will  certainly  perish,  does  he  withhold  from  them 
that  grace,  and  so  seal  the  certainty  of  tkeir  destruc- 
tion? These  solemn  questions  the  Calvinist  pro- 
fesses his  ability  to  answer  only  in  the  words  of  our 
l^lessed  Lord:  "Even  so.  Father,  for  so  it  seemed 
good  in  thy  sight." 

But  should  the  Arminian,  professing  to  decide  how 
the  Deity  should  proceed  in  relation  to  sinners,  use 
this  conceded  difficulty  for  the  purpose  of  showing 
that  the  Calvinist  imputes  malignity  to  God,  it  is  fair, 
it  is  requisite,  to  prove  that  he  has  no  right  to  press 
this  objection — that  it  is  incumbent  on  him  to  look  to 
his  own  defences.  What  if  it  should  turn  out  that  he 
is  oppressed  by  a  still  greater  difficulty? 

In  the  first  place,  the  Evangelical  Arminian  admits 
that  God  perfectly  forekne.w  all  that  will  ever  come 
to  pass.  Consequently,  he  admits  that  God  foreknew 
what,  and  how  many,  human  beings  will  finally  per- 
ish. He  must  also  admit  that  God  foreknows  that  he 
will  judge  them  at  the  last  day,  and  that  what  God 

302     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

foreknows  he  will  do  on  that  day,  he  must  have 
eternally  purposed  to  do.  The  final  condemnation, 
therefore,  of  a  definite  number  of  men  is  absolutely 
certain.  The  question  is  not  now  whether  God  makes 
it  certain.  Let  us  not  leave  the  track.  What  it  is 
asserted  the  Arminian  must  admit  is,  that  it  is  cer- 
tain. Now  this  is  very  dififerent  from  saying  that 
God  eternally  knew  that  all  men  would  perish,  unless 
he  should  interpose  to  save  them.  For  he  foreknew 
his  purpose  to  make  such  an  interposition  in  behalf 
of  some  of  the  race,  and  so  foreknew  the  absolute  cer- 
tainty of  their  final  salvation.  The  case  before  us  is, 
not  that  God  knew  that  those  who  will  actually  per- 
ish would  perish  unless  he  interposed  to  save  them. 
It  is,  that  he  foreknew  that  they  will  finally  perish. 
But  if  this  must  be  admitted — that  God  foreknew 
with  certainty  that  some  human  beings  will  be,  at 
the  last  day,  adjudged  by  him  to  destruction,  then 
their  destruction  is  certain.  Now  we  crave  to  know 
how  a  provision  of  redemption  which  made  their  sal- 
vation possible  can  exercise  any  effect  upon  their 
destiny.  Their  destruction  is  to  God's  knowledge 
certain.  How  can  the  possibility  of  their  salvation 
change  that  certainty?  It  cannot.  Where,  then,  is 
the  goodness  to  them  of  the  redeeming  provision?  It 
is  impossible  to  see. 

Further,  how  can  salvation  be  possible  to  those 
who  are  certain  to  be  lost?  How  can  their  salvation 
be  possible,  if  their  destruction  be  certain?  There  is 
but  one  conceivable  answer:  it  is,  that  although  God 
foreknew  that  they  zvould  be  lost,  he  also  foreknew 
that  they  might  be  saved.  That  is  to  say,  there  was 
an  extrinsic  impossibility  of  their  salvation  created 

Objectio7i  from  Divific  Goodness.  303 

by  God's  certain  foreknowledge,  but  an  intrinsic 
possibility  of  their  salvation  growing  out  of  their 
ability  to  avail  themselves  of  the  provision  of  redemp- 
tion. It  may  be  pleaded  that  their  case  is  like  that 
of  Adam  in  innocence.  God  knew  that  he  would 
fall,  but  he  also  knew  that  he  might  stand.  This 
brings  us  to  the  next  point,  and  that  will  take  us 
down  to  one  of  the  fundamental  difficulties  of  the 
Arminian  scheme. 

In  the  second  place,  a  possible  salvation  would  be 
to  a  sinner  an  impossible  salvation.  Mere  salvability 
would  be  to  him  inevitable  destruction.  It  will  be 
admitted,  without  argument,  that  a  possible  salvation 
is  not,  in  itself,  an  actual  salvation.  That  which 
may  be  is  not  that  which  is.  Before  a  possible  can 
become  an  actual  salvation  something  needs  to  be 
done — a  condition  must  be  performed  upon  which  is 
suspended  its  passage  from  possibility  to  actuality. 
The  question  is,  What  is  this  thing  which  needs  to  be 
done — what  is  this  condition  which  must  be  fulfilled 
before  salvation  can  become  a  fact  to  the  sinner? 
The  Arminian  answer  is  :  Repentance  and  faith  on 
the  sinner's  part.  He  must  consent  to  turn  from  his 
iniquities  and  accept  Christ  as  his  Saviour.  The 
further  question  presses,  By  what  agency  does  the 
sinner  perform  this  condition — by  what  power  does 
lie  repent,  believe,  and  so  accept  salvation?  The 
answer  to  this  question,  whatever  it  may  be,  must 
indicate  the  agency,  the  power,  which  determines  the 
sinner's  repenting,  believing  and  so  accepting  salva- 
tion. It  is  not  enough  to  point  out  an  agency,  a 
power,  which  is,  however  potent,  merely  an  auxil- 
iary to  the  determining  cause.      It  is  the  determining 

304     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism. 

cause  itself  that  must  be  given  as  the  answer  to  the 
question.  It  must  be  a  factor  which  renders,  by 
virtue  of  its  own  energy,  the  final  decision — an  effi- 
cient cause  which,  by  its  own  inherent  causality, 
makes  a  possible  salvation  an  actual  and  experi- 
mental fact.  What  is  this  causal  agent  which  is  the 
sovereign  arbiter  of  human  destiny?  The  Arminian 
answer  to  this  last  question  of  the  series  is,  The  sin- 
ner's will.^  It  is  the  sinner's  will  which,  in  the  last 
resort,  determines  the  question  whether  a  possible, 
shall  become  an  actual,  salvation.  This  has  already 
been  sufficiently  evinced  in  the  foregoing  remarks. 
But  what  need  is  there  of  argument  to  prove  what 
any  one,  even  slightly  acquainted  with  Arminian 
theology,  knows  that  it  maintains?  Indeed,  it  is  one 
of  the  distinctive  and  vital  features  of  that  theology, 
contra-distinguishing  it  to  the  Calvinistic.  The  Cal- 
[vinist  holds  that  the  efficacious  and  irresistible  grace 
'of  God  applies  salvation  to  the  sinner;  the  Arminian, 
that  the  ijrace  of  God  althoug^h  communicated  to 
every  man  is  inefficacious  and  resistible,  and  that  the 
sinner's  will  uses  it  as  merely  an  assisting  influence 
in  determining  the  final  result  of  accepting  a  possible 
salvation  and  so  making  it  actual.  Grace  does  not 
determine  the  will;  the  will  "improves"  the  grace 
and  determines  itself.  Grace  is  the  handmaid,  the 
sinner's  will  the  mistress.  Let  us  suppose  that  in 
regard  to  the  question  whether  salvation  shall  be 
accepted,  there  is  a  perfect  equipoise  between  the 
motions  of  grace  and  the  contrary  inclinations  of  the 
sinner's  will.  A  very  slight  added  influence  will 
destroy  the  equilibrium.  Shall  it  be  from  grace  or 
'  Wesley,  Watson,  Ila3'moud,  et  al. 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  305 

from  the  sinner's  will  ?  If  from  the  former,  grace 
determines  the  question,  and  the  Calvinistic  doctrine 
is  admitted.  But  that  the  Arminian  denies.  It 
must  then  be  from  the  sinner's  will  ;  and  however 
slight  and  inconsiderable  this  added  influence  of  the 
will  may  be,  it  determines  the  issue.  It  is  like  the 
feather  that  alights  upon  one  of  two  evenly  balanced 
scales  and  turns  the  beam. 

Moreover,  this  will  of  the  sinner  which  discharges 
the  momentous  office  of  determining  the  question  of 
salvation  is  his  natural  will.  It  cannot  be  a  gracious 
will,  that  is,  a  will  renewed  by  grace  ;  for  if  it  were, 
the  sinner  would  be  already  in  a  saved  condition. 
But  the  very  question  is,  Will  he  consent  to  be  saved? 
Now  if  it  be  not  the  will  of  a  man  already  in  a  saved 
condition,  it  is  the  will  of  a  man  yet  in  an  unsaved 
condition.  It  is  the  will  of  an  unbelieving  and  un- 
converted man,  that  is,  a  natural  man,  and  conse- 
quently must  be  a  natural  will.  It  is  this  natural 
will,  then,  which  finally  determines  the  question 
whether  a  possible  salvation  shall  become  an  actual. 
It  is  its  high  office  to  settle  the  matter  of  practical 
salvation.  In  this  solemn  business,  as  in  all  others, 
it  has  an  irrefragable  autonomy.  Not  even  in  the 
critical  transition  from  the  kingdom  of  Satan  into  the 
kingdom  of  God's  dear  Son,  can  it  be  refused  the 
exercise  of  its  sacred  and  inalienable  prerogative  of 
contrary  choice.  At  the  supreme  moment  of  the 
final  determination  of  the  soul  "for  Christ  to  live  and 
die,"  the  determination  mii^^ht  be  otherwise.  The 
will  may  be  illuminated,  moved,  assisted  by  grace, 
but  not  controlled  and  determined  by  it.  To  the 
last  it  has  the  power  of  resisting  grace  and  of  success- 

3o6     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

fully  resisting  it.  To  it — I  use  the  language  re- 
luctantly— the  blessed  Spirit  of  God  is  represented  as 
sustaining  the  attitude  of  the  persuasive  orator  of 
grace.  He  argues,  he  pleads,  he  expostulates,  he 
warns,  he  beseeches  the  sinner's  will  in  the  melting 
accents  of  Calvary  and  alarms  it  with  the  thunders  of 
judgment — but  that  is  all.  He  cannot  without  tres- 
passing upon  its  sovereignty  renew  and  re-create  and 
determine  his  will.  This  is  no  misrepresentation, 
no  exaggeration,  of  the  Arminian's  position.  It  is 
what  he  contends  for.  It  is  what  he  must  contend 
for.  It  is  one  of  the  hinges  on  which  his  system 
turns.  Take  it  away,  and  the  system  swings  loosely 
and  gravitates  to  an  inevitable  fall. 

Now  this  is  so  palpably  opposed  to  Scripture  and 
the  facts  of  experience,  that  Evangelical  Arminians 
endeavor  to  modify  it,  so  as  to  relieve  it  of  the  charge 
of  being  downright  Pelagianism.  That  the  attempt 
is  hopeless,  has  already  been  shown.  It  is  utterly 
vain  to  say,  that  grace  gives  ability  to  the  sinner 
sufficient  for  the  formation  of  that  final  volition 
which  decides  the  question  of  personal  salvation. 
Look  at  it.  Do  they  mean,  by  this  ability,  regener- 
ating grace?  If  they  do,  as  regenerating  grace  un- 
questionably determines  the  sinner's  will^  they  give 
up  their  position  and  adopt  the  Calvinistic.  No; 
they  affirm  that  they  do  not,  because  the  Calvinistic 
position  is  liable  to  two  insuperable  objections:  first, 
I  that  it  limits  efficacious  grace  to  the  elect,  denying  it 
to  others;  secondly,  that  efficacious  and  determining 
grace  would  contradict  the  laws  by  which  the  human 
will  is  governed.  It  comes  back  to  this,  then:  that 
notwithstanding   this   imparted   ability,    the  natural 

Objection  from  Divine  Coodjiess.  307 

will  is  the  factor  which  determines  the  actual  relation 
of  the  soul  to  salvation.  The  admission  of  a  gracious 
ability,  therefore,  does  not  relieve  the  difficulty.  It 
is  not  an  efficacious  and  determining-  influence;  it  is 
simply  suasion.  The  natural  will  may  yield  to  it  or 
resist  it.     It  is  a  vincible  influence. 

Now  this  being  the  real  state  of  the  case,  according 
to  the  Arminian  scheme,  it  is  perfectly  manifest  that 
no  sinner  could  be  saved.  There  is  no  need  of  argu- 
ment." It  is  simply  out  of  the  question,  that  the 
sinner  in  the  exercise  of  his  natural  will  can  repent, 
believe  in  Christ,  and  so  make  a  possible  salvation 
actual.  Let  it  be  clearly  seen  that,  in  the  final  settle- 
ment of  the  question  of  personal  religion,  the  Armin- 
ian doctrine  is,  that  the  will  does  not  decide  as  de- 
termined by  the  grace  of  God,  but  by  its  own  in- 
herent self-determining  power,  and  the  inference,  if 
any  credit  is  attached  to  the  statements  of  Scripture, 
is  forced  upon  us,  that  it  makes  the  salvation  of  the 
sinner  impossible.  A  salvation,  the  appropriation  of 
which  is  dependent  upon  the  sinner's  natural  will,  is 
no  salvation;  and  the  Arminian  position  is  that  the 
appropriation  of  salvation  is  dependent  upon  the 
natural  will  of  the  sinner.  The  stupendous  paradox 
is  thus  shown  to  be  true — that  a  merely  possible  sal- 
vation is  an  impossible  salvation. 

If  in  reply  to  this  argument  the  Arminian  should 
say,  that  he  does  not  hold  that  the  merely  natural 
will  wdiich  is  corrupt  is  the  final  determining  agent, 
but  that  the  will  makes  the  final  decision  by  reason 
of  some  virtue  characterizing  it,  the  rejoinder  is  ob- 
vious: first,  this  virtue  must  either  be  inherent  in 
the  natural  will  of  the  sinner,  or  be  communicated  by 

3o8     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

grace.  If  it  be  inherent  in  the  natnral  will,  it  is  ad- 
mitted that  it  is  the  natural  will  itself,  through  a 
power  r-esident  in  it,  which  determines  to  improve 
communicated  grace  and  appropriate  salvation  ;  and 
that  would  confirm  the  charge  that  the  Arminian 
makes  the  final  decision  to  accept  salvation  depend 
upon  the  natural  will,  which  w^ould  be  to  render  sal- 
vation impossible.  If  this  virtue  in  the  will  which 
determines  it  to  make  the  final  decision  be  communi- 
cated by  grace,  it  is  a  part  of  the  gracious  ability  im- 
parted to  the  sinner;  and  then  we  would  have  a  part 
of  this  communicated  gracious  ability  improving 
another  part — that  is,  gracious  ability  improving 
gracious  ability.  Now  this  would  be  absurd  on  any 
other  supposition  than  that  grace  is  the  determining 
agent,  and  that  supposition  th^  Arminian  rejects. 
iTo  state  the  case  briefly  :  either  this  virtue  in  the  will 
jwhicli  is  the  controlling  element  is  grace  or  it  is  not. 
.'If  it  be  grace,  then"  grace  is  the  determining  element, 
and  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  is  admitted.  If  it  be  not 
grace,  then  the  will  by  its  natural  power  is  the  deter- 
mining element,  and  that  is  impossible, — it  is  impos- 
jsible  for  the  natural  will,  which  is  itself  sinful  and 
beeds  to  be  renewed,  to  determine  the  question  of 
Practical  salvation. 

Let  us  put  the  matter  in  a  different  light.  There 
must  be  some  virtue  in  the  natural  man  to  lead  him 
to  improve  grace — to  use  gracious  ability.  Now 
whence  is  this  virtue?  It  must  be  either  from  God, 
or  from  himself.  If  it  be  from  God,  then  the  cause 
which  determines  the  question  of  accepting  salvation 
-.s  from  God,  and  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  is  admitted. 
If  it  be  from  himself,  then  it  is  the  natural  will  which 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  309 

uses  the  gracious  ability,  aud  determiues  the  appro- 
priatiou  of  salvation;  and  that  is  impossible. 

Further,  the  Arminian  must  admit  either  that  the 
will  makes  the  final  decision  in  consequence  of  some 
virtue  in  it,  or  that  it  makes  it  without  all  virtue.  If 
in  consequence  of  some  virtue,  then  as  that  virtue  is 
distinguished  from  the  grace  it  uses,  it  is  merely 
natural,  and  the  natural  will  is  affirmed  to  be  virtuous 
enough  to  decide  the  all-important  question  of  salva- 
tion; which  is  contrary  to  the  doctrine,  maintained 
by  Evangelical  Arminians,  that  the  natural  man  is 
depraved,  and  destitute  of  saving  virtue.  If  the  will 
makes  the  final  decision  without  all  virtue,  then  the 
natural  will,  as  sinful,  improves  grace  to  the  salva- 
tion of  the  soul,  which  is  absurd  and  impossible. 
The  Arminian  is  shut  up  to  admit  that  it  is  the 
natural  will  of  the  sinner  which  improves  grace  and 
determines  the  question  of  personal  salvation  ;  and  it 
is  submitted,  that  such  a  position  makes  salvation 

There  is  another  mode  of  showing  that,  according 
to  the  distinctive  principles  of  the  Arminian  system, 
salvation  is  impossible.  The  Scriptures  unquestion- 
ably teach  that  salvation  is.  by  grace:  "By  grace  ye 
are  saved. "^  Not  only  so,  but  with  equal  clearness 
they  teach  that  none  can  be  saved  except  by  grace; 
that  no  sinner  can  save  himself:  "Not  by  works  of 
righteousness  wdiich  we  have  done,  but  according  to 
his  mercy  he  saved  us,  by  the  washing  of  regenera- 
tion and  renewing  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  which  he  shed 
on  us  abundantly,  through  Jesus  Christ  our  Saviour; 
that  being  justified  by  his  grace,  we  should  be  made 

1  Hub.  ii.  5,  S. 

3IO     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

heirs  according  to  the  hope  of  eternal  life."^  There 
is  no  need  to  argue  this  point,  since  it  is  admitted  by 
Evangelical  Arminians  as  well  as  by  Calvinists. 
Their  common  doctrine  is  that  no  sinner  can  save 
himself.  If  his  salvation  depended  upon  his  saving 
himself  it  would  be  impossible.  But  the  distinctive 
doctrines  of  Arniinianism — the  doctrines  which  dis- 
tinguish it  from  Calvinism — necessitate  the  inference 
that  the  sinner  saves  himself.  This  inference  is  ille- 
gitimate, the  Arminian  contends,  because  he  holds 
that  had  not  Christ  died  to  make  salvation  possible 
and  were  not  the  Holy  Spirit  imparted  to  induce  the 
sinner  to  embrace  it,  no  man  could  be  saved.  This, 
however,  is  no  proof  of  the  illegitimacy  of  the  infer- 
ence from  his  doctrine  that  the  sinner  is  after  all  his 
own  saviour.  The  proof  of  the  legitimacy  of  the 
inference  is  established  in  this  way:  According  to 
Arniinianism,  sufficient  grace  is  imparted  to  all  men. 
-Every  man  has,  consequently,  sufficient  ability  to 
repent,  believe  and  embrace  salvation.  This  suffi- 
cient grace  or  ability,  therefore,  is  common  to  all 
men.  But  that  it  does  not  determine  all  men  to  be 
saved  is  proved  by  the  fact  that  some  are  not  saved. 
This  the  Arminian  holds.  Now,  wdiat  makes  the 
difference  between  the  saved  and  the  unsaved?  Why 
is  one  man  saved  and  another  not  saved?  The 
answer  to  these  questions  is  of  critical  importance 
and  it  must  be  rendered.  What  answer  does  the 
Arminian  return?  This:  The  reason  is,  that  one 
man  determines  to  improve  the  common  grace  and 
^another  does  not.  He  cannot  hold  that  grace  makes 
the  difference,  for  grace  is  the  common  possession  of 

1  Tit.  iii.  5-7. 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  311 

both.  The  specific  difference  of  their  cases  is  the 
respective  determinations  of  their  own  wills,  nnde- 
terniined  by  grace.  He  therefore  who  determines  to 
use  the  common  gift  cannot  be  saved  by  it,  but  by 
his  determination  to  use  it.  If  it  be  not  that  which 
saves  him,  but  the  grace  itself,  then  all  who  have  the 
grace  would  be  saved  by  it  equally  with  him.  No,  it 
is  not  grace  which  saves  him,  but  his  use  of  grace.^ 
And  as  he  might  have  determined  not  to  use  it,  it  is 
manifest  that  he  is  saved  by  the  exercise  of  his  own 
will;  in  other  words  that  he  saves  himself  The 
saving  factor  is  his  will;  he  is  his  own  saviour. 
This  is  made  still  plainer  by  asking  the  question, 
Why  is  another  not  saved,  but  ruined?  He  had  the 
same  sufficient  grace  with  him  who  is  saved.  His 
own  determination  not  to  use  it,  it  will  be  said,  is 
the  cause  of  his  ruin — he  therefore  ruins  himself 
In  the  same  way  precisely  the  determination  of  the 
saved  man  to  use  it  is  the  cause  of  his  salvation — he, 
therefore,  saves  himself  Granted,  that  he  could  not 
be  saved  without  grace;  still,  grace  only  makes  his 
salvation  possible.  He  must  make  it  a  fact;  and 
bevond  controversy,  he  who  makes  his  salvation  a 
fact  accomplishes    his  salvation.      He  saves  himself 

This  reasoning  conclnsively  evinces  it  to  be  a  nec- 
essarv  consequence  from  the  distinctive  doctrines  of 
Arminianism,  that  sinners  are  not  saved  by  grace  but 
by  themselves  in  the  use  of  grace ;  and  as  that  posi- 
tion contradicts  the  plainest  teachings  of  Scripture, 
the  system  which  necessitates  it  makes  salvation  im- 

To  all  this  it  will  be  replied,  that  the  ability  con- 
ferred by  grace  pervades  the  will  itself,  and  enables, 

312     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

although  it  does  not  determine,  it  to  make  the  final 
and  saving  decision.  But  this  by  no  means  mends 
the  matter.  Let  it  be  admitted  that  the  will  is 
enabled  by  grace  to  decide ;  if  it  is  not  determined 
by  it  to  the  decision,  then  it  follows  that  there  is 
something  in  the  will  different  from  the  gracious 
ability,  which  uses  that  ability  in  determining  the 
result.  What  is  that  different  element?  It  cannot 
be  a  gracious  power.  To  admit  that  would  be  to 
contradict  the  supposition  and  to  give  up  the  ques- 
tion ;  for  in  that  case  it  would  be  grace  which  de- 
termines the  decision.  What  can  that  be  which 
differs  from  the  gracious  ability  conferred  and  uses  it, 
but  the  natin^al  power  of  the  sinner's  will?  But  his 
will,  apart  from  grace,  is  sinful  and  therefore  dis- 
abled. So  the  Arminian  admits.  How,  then,  can  a 
disabled  thing  use  enabling  grace?  How  can  it  de- 
termine to  use  that  grace?  Over  and  beyond  the 
enabling  power  there  is  postulated  a  determining 
power.  The  enabling  power  is  grace  ;  over  and  be- 
yond it  is  the  determining  power  of  the  sinful  will. 
The  thing  is  inconceivable.  Sin  cannot  use  grace ; 
inability  cannot  use  ability ;  the  dead  cannot  de- 
termine to  use  life.  To  say  then  that  grace  is  in- 
fused into  the  will  itself  to  enable  it  to  form  the  final 
volition,  which  makes  a  possible  salvation  actual, 
does  not  remove  the  difficulty.  If  it  does  not  de- 
termine the  will,  the  wuU  determines  itself  The 
very  essence  of  that  self-determination  is  to  use  or  not 
to  use  the  enabling  grace,  and  therefore  must  be 
something  different  from  that  grace.  The  determina- 
tion is  not  from  grace,  but  from  nature.  Again  the 
impossibility    of   salvation    is    reached.      A    doctrine 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness,  313 

which  assigns  to  grace  a  merely  enabling  influence, 
and  denies  it  a  determining  power,  makes  the  salva- 
tion of  a  sinner  impossible.  To  say  to  a  sinner,  Use 
the  natural  strength  of  your  will  in  determining  to 
avail  yourself  of  grace,  would  be  to  say  to  him,  You 
cannot  be  saved.  For  if  he  answered  from  the 
depths  of  his  consciousness,  he  would  groan  out  the 
response,  Alas,  I  have  no  such  strength  ! 

The  truth  is,  that  a  thorough  examination  of  the 
anthropology  of  the  Arminian  discloses  the  fact  that, 
in  the  last  analysis,  it  is  not  essentially  different  from 
that  of  the  Socinian  and  Pelagian.  It  is  cheerfully 
conceded  that  the  Arminian  soteriology  is  different 
from  the  Socinian  and  Pelagian.  For  the  former 
professedly  holds  that  the  atonement  of  Christ  was '. 
vicarious  and  that  it  rendered  a  perfect  satisfaction  to 
the  retributive  justice  of  God.  But,  according  to  it, 
the  atonement  did  not  secure  salvation  as  a  certain 
result  to  any  human  beings  ;  and  when  it  comes  to 
the  question  how  the  sinner  practically  avails  himself 
of  the  salvation  made  only  possible  to  all,  the  Armin- 
ian answers  it  by  saying,  that  the  sinner  in  the  exer- 
cise of  his  own  self-determining  power,  which  from 
its  nature  is  contingent  in  its  exercise,  makes  sal va-' 
tion  his  own.  The  connection  between  his  soul  and 
redemption  is  effected  by  his  own  decision,  in  the 
formation  of  which  he  is  conscious  that  he  might  act 
otherwise — that  he  might  make"  a  contrary  choice.. 
There  is  no  real  difference  between  this  position  and 
that  of  the  Socinian  and  Pelagian.  The  Arminian 
professes  to  attach  more  importance  than  they  to  the 
influence  of  supernatural  grace,  but,  in  the  last  resort, 
like  them  he  makes  the  natural  power  of  the  sinner's 

314     Calvinis7n  and  Evangelical  Ainninianism. 

will  the  determining  cause  of  personal  salvation. 
Every  consideration,  therefore,  which  serves  to  show 
the  impossibility  of  salvation  upon  the  anthropologi- 
cal scheme  of  Socinianism  and  Pelagianism  leads  to 
the  conclusion  that  the  same  consequence  is  enforced 
by  that  of  Arminianisni.  In  both  schemes  it  is 
nature,  and  not  grace,  which  actually  saves. 

Still  further,  the  distinctive  doctrines  of  Arminian- 
isni not  only  make  salvation  impossible  by  denying 
i  that  it  is  by  grace,  but  also  by  implying  that  it  is  by 
works.  Not  that  it  is  intended  to  say  that  Armin- 
ians  in  so  many  words  affirm  this.  On  the  contrary, 
they  endeavor  to  show  that  their  system  is  not  liable 
to  this  charge.  We  have,  however,  to  deal  with 
their  system  and  the  logical  consequences  which  it 
involves.  The  question  is.  Do  the  peculiar  tenets  of 
the  Arminian  scheme  necessitate  the  inference  that 
salvation  is  by  works?  I  shall  attempt  to  prove  that 
they  do.    ■ 

It  must  be  admitted  that  a  system,  one  of  the  dis- 
tinctive doctrines  of  which  is  that  sinners  are  in  a 
state  of  legal  probation,  affirms  salvation  by  works. 
The  essence  of  a  legal  probation  is  that  the  subject  of 
moral  government  is  required  to  render  personal 
obedience  to  law  in  order  to  his  being  justified.  It  is 
conceded  on  all  hands  that  Adam's  probation  was  of 
such  a  character.  He  was  required  to  produce  a 
legal  obedience.  Had  it  been  produced  it  would 
have  been  his  own  obedience.  It  makes  no  differ- 
ence that  he  was  empowered  to  render  it  by  sufficient 
grace.  A  righteousness  does  not  receive  its  denom- 
ination from  the  source  in  which  it  originates,  but 
from  its  nature  and  the  end  which  it  ©ontem relates. 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  315 

Had  Adam  stood,  he  would  have  been  enabled  by 
grace  to  produce  obedience,  but  it  would  have  been 
his  own  obedience,  and  it  would  have  secured  justi- 
fication on  its  own  account. 

Now  it  will  not  be  denied  that  Arminian  divines 
assert  that  men  are  now  in  a  state  of  probation.  It 
wouia  be  unnecessary  to  adduce  proof  of  this.  They 
contend  that,  in  consequence  of  the  atonement  offered 
by  Christ  for  the  race,  all  men  become  probationers. 
A  chan^e_is  given  them  to  secure  salvation.  The 
onlv'question  is,  whether  the  probation  which  Ar- 
minians  affirm  for  sinners  be  a  legal  probation.  That 
it  is,  mav  be  proved  by  their  own  statements.  If 
they  take  the  ground  that  the  obedience  to  divine  re- 
quirements may  be  rendered  through  the  ability  con- 
ferred bv  grace,  and  therefore  the  probation  is  not 
legal,  the  answer  is  obvious :  the  obedience  exacted 
of\dam  he  was  enabled  by  grace  to  render ;  but  not- 
withstanding that  fact,  his  probation  was  legal. 
That  men  now  have  grace  enabling  them  to  render 
obedience  cannot  disprove  the  legal  character  of  their 


The  argument  has  ramified  into  details,  but  it  has 
not  wandered  from  the  thing  to  be  proved,  to  wit, 
that  a  possible  salvation  is  an  impossible  salvation. 
All  the  consequences  which  have  been  portrayed  as 
damaging  to  the  Arminian  theory  of  a  merely  pos- 
sible "salvation  flow  logically  from  the  fundamental 
position  that  sufficient  ability  is  given  to  every  man 
to  make  such  a  merely  possible  salvation  actual  to 
himself.  One  more  consideration  will  be  presented, 
and  it  goes  to  the  root  of  the  matter.  It  is,  that  this 
ability  which  is  affirmed    to  be  sufficient  to  enable 

3i6    Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

every  man  to  make  a  possible  salvation  actual  is, 
according  to  Arminian  showing,  itself  a  sheer  im- 
possibility. This  may  be  regarded  as  an  extra- 
ordinary assertion,  but  it  is  susceptible  of  proof  as 
speedy  as  it  is  clear.  The  Evangelical  Arminian  not 
only  admits  the  fact,  but  contends  for  it,  that  every 
man  in  his  natural,  fallen  condition  is  spiritually 
dead — is  dead  in  trespasses  and  sins.  The  problem 
for  him  to  solve  is,  How  can  this  spiritually  dead 
man  make  his  possible  salvation  an  actual  salvation? 
It  must  not  be  done  by  the  impartation  to  him  of 
efficacious  and  determining  grace,  for  to  admit  that 
would  be  to  give  up  the  doctrine  of  a  possible  salva- 
tion and  accept  that  of  a  decreed  and  certain  salva- 
tion. Nor  must  it  be  done  by  regenerating  grace,  for 
two  difficulties  oppose  that  supposition  :  lirst,  this 
regenerating  grace  would  necessarily  be  efficacious 
and  determining  grace  ;  and  secondly,  it  could  not 
with  truth  be  maintained  that  every  man  is  regen- 
erated. A  degree  of  grace,  therefore,  which  is  short 
of  regenerating  grace,  must  be  conferred  upon  every 
man.  What  is  that?  Sufficient  grace — that  is  to 
say,  a  degree  of  grace  imparting  ability  sufficient  to 
enable  every  man  to  make  a  possible  salvation  actu- 
ally his  own.  Now,  the  argument  is  short :  a  degree 
of  o:race  which  does  not  res^enerate,  would  be  a  deq-ree 
of  grace  which  w^ould  not  bestow  life  upon,  the 
spiritually  dead  sinner.  If  it  did  infuse  spiritual  life 
it  would  of  course  be  regenerating  grace  ;  but  it  is 
denied  to  be  regenerating  grace.  No  other  grace 
would  be  sufficient  for  the  dead  sinner  but  regenerat- 
ing or  life-giving  grace.  How  could  grace  enable  the 
dead  sinner  to  perform  living  functions — to  repent, 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  317 

to  believe  in  Christ,  to  embrace  salvation — without 
first  giving  him  life?  In  a  word,  sufficient  grace 
which  is  not  regenerating  grace  is  a  palpable  im- 
possibility. An  ability  sufficient  to  enable  the  dead 
sinner  to  discharge  living  functions  but  not  sufficient 
to  make  him  live,  is  an  impossibility.  The  Ar-^ 
minian  is  therefore  shut  up  to  a  choice  between  two/ 
alternatives:  either,  he  must  confess  sufficient  grace 
to  be  regenerating  grace,  and  then  he  abandons  his 
doctrine;  or,  he  must  maintain  that  grace  is  suffi-' 
cient  for  a  dead  sinner  which  does  not  make  him 
live,  and  then  he  asserts  an  impossibility. 

If  to  this  the  Arminian  reply,  that  the  functions 
which  sufficient  grace  enables  the  sinner  to  perform 
are  not  functions  of  spiritual  life,  it  follows:  first, 
that  he  contradicts  his  own  position  that  grace  im- 
parts a  degree  of  spiritual  life  to  every  man;  and, 
secondly,  that  he  maintains  that  a  spiritually  dead 
man  discharges  functions  which  cause  him  to  live, 
which  is  infinitely  absurd. 

If,  finally,  he  reply,  that  sufficient  grace  is  life- 
giving  and  therefore  regenerating  grace,  but  that  it  is 
not  efficacious,  and  does  not  determine  the  fact  of  the 
sinner's  salvation,  the  rejoinder  is  obvious:  No  spirit- 
ually dead  sinner  can  possibly  be  restored  to  life 
except  by  union  with  Jesus  Christ,  the  source  of 
spiritual  life.  To  deny  that  position  is  to  deny 
Christianity.  But  if  that  must  be  admitted,  as  union 
with  Christ  determines  the  present  salvation  of  the 
sinner,  sufficient  grace  which  gives  life  determines 
the  question  of  present  salvation.  Sufficient  grace 
gives  life  by  uniting  the  sinner  to  Christ,  and  union 
with  Christ  is  salvation.     Sufficient   grrace  which  is 

3i8      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

conceded  to  be  regenerating,  is  therefore  necessarily 
efficacions  and  determining,  grace. 

We  are  now  prepared  to  estimate  the  force  of  the 
analogy  which,  under  a  preceding  head,  it  was  sup- 
posed that  the  Arminian  may  plead  between  the  case 
of  the  sinner  and  that  of  Adam.  Our  first  father  had 
sufficient  grace,  but  it  was  not  efficacious  grace.  It 
did  not  determine  his  standing.  It  rendered  it  pos- 
sible for  him  to  stand,  but  it  did  not  destroy  the  pos- 
sibility of  his  falling.  He  had  sufficient  ability  to 
perform  holy  acts;  nevertheless,  it  was  possible  for 
him  to  sin.  In  like  manner,  it  may  be  said,  the 
sinner,  in  his  natural  condition,  has  sufficient  grace, 
but  not  efficacious  grace.  It  renders  it  possible  for 
him  to  accept  salvation,  but  it  does  not  destroy 
the  possibility  of  his  rejecting  it.  He  has  suffi- 
cient ability  to  repent  and  believe;  yet,  notwith- 
standing this,  he  may  continue  impenitent  and  unbe- 

I  admit  the  fact  that  Adam  had  sufficient  o-race  to 
enable  him  to  stand  in'  holiness,  and  that  it  was  pos- 
sible for  him  either  to  stand  or  fall ;  but  I  deny  that 
there  is  any  real  analogy  between  his  case  and  that 
of  the  unregenerate  sinner.  It  breaks  down  at  a 
point  of  the  most  vital  consequence.  That  point  is 
the  presence  or  absence  of  spiritual  life.  Adam,  in 
innocence,  was  possessed  of  spiritual  life — he  was, 
spiritually  considered,  wholly  alive.  There  was  not 
imparted  to  him — to  use  an  Arminian  phrase — "a 
degree  of  spiritual  life."  Life  reigned  in  all  his 
faculties.  There  was  no  element  of  spiritual  death  in 
his  being  which  was  to  be  resisted  and  which  in  turn 
opposed    the  motions  of  spiritual    life.     Now  let   it 

Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  3 1 9 

even  be  supposed,  with  the  Arniinian,  that  a  degree 
of  spiritual  life  is  given  to  the  spiritually  dead  sinner, 
and  it  would  necessarily  follow  that  there  is  a  degree 
of  spiritual  death  which  still  remains  in  him.  What 
conceivable  analogy  could  exist  between  a  being 
wholly  alive  spiritually  and  one  partly  alive  and 
partly  dead  spiritually?  What  common  relation  to 
grace  could  be  predicated  of  them?  How  is  it  pos- 
sible to  conceive  that  grace  which  would  be  sufficient 
for  a  wholly  living  man  would  also  be  sufficient  for  a 
partly  dead  man?  Take  then  the  Arminian  concep- 
tion of  the  case  of  the  sinner  in  his  natural  condition, 
and  it  is  obvious  that  there  is  no  real  analogy  between 
it  and  that  of  Adam  in  innocence. 

But  it  has  already  been  shown  that  the  impartation 
by  grace  of  a  degree  of  spiritual  life  to  the  sinner 
which  does  not  involve  his  regeneration  is  impossible. 
Whatever  grace  and  ability  the  Arminian  may  claim 
for  the  sinner,  if  it  fall  short  of  regenerating  grace,  if 
it  does  not  quicken  him  in  Christ  Jesus,  no  life  is 
conuniuiicated  by  it.  The  sinner  is  still  dead  in 
trespasses  and  sins.  The  communicated  grace  may 
instruct  him,  but  it  does  not  raise  him  from  the  dead 
— it  is  didactic,  but  not  life-giving.  It  is  the  suasion 
of  oratory,  not  the  energy  of  life.  It  operates  upon 
the  natural  faculties  and  becomes  a  motive  to  the 
natural  will.  But  it  is  precisely  the  natural  will, 
pervaded  by  spiritual  death,  which  must  decide 
whether  or  not  it  will  appropriate  the  spiritual  in- 
ducements and  make  them  its  own.  In  a  word,  a 
dead  man  must  determine  whether  he  will  yield  to 
the  persuasion  to  live  or  not. 

The  Arminian    theory  defies  comprehension.     To 

320     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

hold  that  sinners  are  not  spiritually  dead  is  to  accept 
the  Pelao^ian  and  Socinian  heresy  that  the  natural 
man  is  able  to  do  saving  works.  This  the  Evangeli- 
cal Arminian  denies.  He  admits  that  the  sinner  is 
spiritually  dead,  and  that  in  his  own  strength  he  can 
do  no  saving  work.  What  then  does  grace  accom- 
plish for  the  sinner,  for  every  sinner?  The  hypothe- 
sis put  forth  in  answer  to  this  question  is  a  plait  of 
riddles  which  no  ingenuity  can  disentangle.  First, 
the  sinner  is  spiritually  dead.  Then,  "a  degree  of 
spiritual  life"  is  imparted  to  him  enabling  him  to 
discharge  spiritually  living  functions.  Well  then — 
one  would  of  course  infer — the  sinner  is  now  spirit- 
ually alive:  he  is  regenerated,  he  is  born  again.  No, 
says  the  Arminian,  only  "a  portion  of  spiritual  death 
is  removed  from  him:"^  he  is  not  yet  regenerated. 
What  then  can  sufficient  grace  be  but  the  degree  of 
spiritual  life  which  is  communicated  to  the  sinner? 
But  this  grace — this  degree  of  spiritual  life  he  is  to 
improve.  He  may  do  so  or  he  may  refuse  to  do  so. 
If  he  improve  it,  it  follows  that  as  spiritually  dead 
he  improves  spiritual  life,  and  what  contradiction  can 
be  greater  than  that?  If  that  is  denied,  it  must  be 
supposed,  that  as  spiritually  alive  he  improves  this 
grace — this  spiritual  life,  and  then  it  would  follow 
that  as  he  may  resist  it,  he  would,  as  spiritually  aliv^e 
resist  spiritual  life,  which  is  absurd.  What  other 
supposition  can  be  conceived,  unless  it  be  this:  that 
he  acts  at  the  same  time  as  equally  dead  and  alive — 
that  death  and  life  co-operate  in  producing  saving 
results,  or  in  declining  to  produce  them?  But  that 
is  so  absurd  that  no  intelligent  mind  W'Ould  tolerate 
^  Watson. 


Objection  from  Divine  Goodness,  321 

it.  Will  it  be  said,  that  if  he  improve  spiritual  life 
he  does  it  as  spiritually  alive,  and  if  he  resist  it,  he 
does  it  as  spiritually  dead?  That  would  suppose 
that,  in  the  case  of  successful  resistance,  spiritual 
death  is  too  strong  for  spiritual  life  and  overcomes  it. 
How  then  could  the  vanquished  life  be  said  to  be 
sufficient,  or  the  insufficient  grace  to  be  sufficient 
grace?  The  spiritual  life  imparted  is  unable  to  over- 
come the  spiritual  death  still  existing,  and  yet  it  con- 
fers sufficient  ability  upon  the  sinner.  The  Armin- 
ian  hypothesis  is  susceptible  of  no  other  fair  con- 
struction than  this:  that  the  sinner,  as  spiritually 
dead,  improves  the  degree  of  life  given  him  by  grace; 
that,  as  impenitent  and  unbelieving,  he,  by  the 
exercise  of  his  natural  will,  uses  the  imparted  ability 
to  repent  and  believe.  Such  ability  is  just  no  ability 
at  all;  for  there  is  no  power  that  could  use  it.  It  is 
like  giving  a  crutch  to  a  man  lying  on  his  back  with 
the  dead  palsy,  or  like  putting  a  bottle  of  aqua  vit{B 
in  the  coffin  with  a  corpse. 

Let  us  put  the  case  in  another  form  :  The  Ar- 
minian  holds  that  the  sinner  is  spiritually  dead  and 
consequently  unable  to  do  anything  to  save  himself. 
But  a  degree  of  spiritual  life  is  imparted  to  him  to 
enable  him  to  embrace  salvation  offered  to  him.  It 
follows  that  now  the  sinner  is  neither  wholly  dead 
nor  Wholly  alive :  he  is  partly  dead  and  partly  alive. 
Now,  either,  first,  his  dead  part  uses  his  living  part;/ 
or,  secondly,  his  living  part  uses  his  dead  part ;  or, 
thirdly,  his  living  part  uses  itself  and  his  dead  part 
uses  itself;  or,  fourthly,  his  living  part  uses  both  the 
living  and  dead  part ;  or,  fifthly,  the  living  and  dead 
part  co-operate.     The  first  supposition  is  inconceiv- 

322      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

able  ;  for  death  cannot  use  life.  The  second  supposi- 
tion violates  the  Arminian  doctrine  that  it  is  life 
which  is  to  be  used,  not  life  which  uses  death  ;  and 
further,  how  is  it  possible  for  life  to  use  death  in  per- 
forming saving  functions?  The  third  supposition 
involves  the  concurrent  but  contradictory  acting  of 
life  and  death,  neither  being  dominant,  so  that  the 
sinner  e\xr  remains  partly  alive  and  partly  dead.  No 
salvation  is  reached.  The  fourth  supposition  in- 
volves the  causal  and  determining  influence  of  the 
life  imparted  by  grace,  and,  therefore,  the  abandon- 
ment of  the  Arminian  and  the  adoption  of  the  Cal- 
vinistic  doctrine  ;  for  the  whole  man  would  be  ruled 
by  the  life-giving  grace.  The  fifth  supposition  is 
impossible  ;  for  it  is  impossible  that  life  and  death 
can  co-operate  to  secure  salvation. 

Let  the  Arminian  account  of  the  unconverted  sin- 
ner's condition  be  viewed  in  every  conceivable  way, 
and  it  is  evident  that  there  is  no  analogy  between  it 
and  that  of  Adam  in  innocence.  The  sufficient  grace 
or  ability  of  the  two  cases  is  entirely  different.  In 
one  case,  there  was  total  spiritual  life,  in  the  other 
there  is  partial  spiritual  life  and  partial  spiritual 
death.  They  cannot  be  reduced  to  unity,  nor  can 
even  similarity  be  predicated  of  them.  Justification 
was  possible  to  Adam,  for,  as  a  being  totally  alive,  he 
had  sufficient  ability  to  secure  it ;  but  salvation,  ac- 
cording to  the  Arminian  supposition,  is  impossible  to 
the  sinner,  for  as  a  being  partly  dead,  he  has  no  suffi- 
cient ability  to  embrace  it.  It  has  already  been  con- 
clusively shown  that  grace,  to  confer  ability  upon  the 
spiritually  dead,  cannot  be  anything  less  than  re- 
generating grace  ;  and  the  bestowal  of  that  upon  the 


Objection  from  Divine  Goodness.  323 

sinner,  previonsly  to  his  repentance  and  faith,  the 
Arniinian  denies.  An  appeal  to  Adam's  ability,  in 
order  to  snpport  the  hypothesis  of  the  snfficient 
ability  of  the  unregenerate  sinner,  cannot  avail  to 
redeem  that  hypothesis  from  the  charge  of  making  a 
merely  possible  salvation  impossible. 

Let  ns  now  return  for  a  moment  to  the  argument 
employed  under  the  preceding  head.  It  was  argued 
that  God's  foreknowledge,  as  conceded  by  the  Arniin- 
ian, that  a  definite  number  of  human  beings  wnll  be 
condemned  at  the  last  day,  involves  the  absolute  cer- 
tainty of  their  condemnation,  and  that  what  God  will 
do  on  that  day  he  must  have  eternally  purposed  to 
do.  How,  it  was  asked,  can  the  Arminian  show 
that  this  certainty  of  the  destruction  of  some  men  is 
consistent  with  the  possibility  of  their  salvation? 
It  was  supposed  that  in  his  attempt  to  show  this,  he 
might  contend  that  although  the  divine  foreknowl- 
edge created  an  extrinsic  impossibility  of  their  salva- 
tion— that  is,  an  impossibility  apprehended  in  the 
divine  mind,  yet  there  is  an  intrinsic  possibility  of 
their  salvation — that  is,  a  possibility  growing  out  of 
their  own  relations  to  the  scheme  of  redemption,  and 
their  ability  to  avail  themselves  of  them.  In  short, 
he  might  contend  that  although  God  foreknows  that 
some  men  will  be  lost,  he  also  foreknows  that  these 
same  men  anight  be  saved  ;  and  to  fortify  that  view, 
he  might  appeal  to  the  analogy  of  the  case  of  Adam, 
the  certainty  of  whose  fall  God  foreknew,  but  the 
possibility  of  whose  standing,  so  far  as  his  intrinsic 
ability  was  concerned,  he  also  foreknew.  It  has  now 
been  proved  that  there  is  no  analogy  between  Adam's 
sufficient    ability    and    that    which    the    Arminian 

324     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

vainly  arrogates  for  the  unregenerate  sinner;  and 
that  on  the  contrary,  on  the  Arminian's  own  prin- 
ciples, the  unregenerate  sinner  is  endowed  with  no 
sufficient  ability  to  appropriate  a  merely  possible  sal- 
vation. Upon  those  principles,  therefore,  at  the 
same  time  that  God  foreknows  the  certainty  of  some 
men's  destruction,  he  also  foreknows  the  intrinsic  im- 
possibility of  their  salvation.  The  Arminian,  conse- 
quently, has  the  case  of  the  finally  lost  to  harmonize 
with  divine  goodness,  as  well  as  the  Calvinist,  and  is 
logically  restrained  from  attacking  the  Calvinistic 
doctrine  because  of  its  alleged  inconsistency  with  that 
attribute.  The  charge  recoils,  indeed,  with  redoubled 
force  upon  himself,  for  while  the  Calvinistic  doctrine 
provides  for  the  certain  salvation  of  some  men,  his 
doctrine  makes  the  salvation  of  any  man  impossible. 
A  scheme  which  professes  to  make  the  salvation  of 
every  man  possible,  but  really  makes  the  salvation  of 
any  man  impossible,  is  not  one  which  can  glory  in 
being  peculiarly  consistent  with  the  goodness  of  God. 
The  x\rminian  impeaches  the  doctrine  of  uncondi- 
tional election  for  representing  God  as  worse  than  the 
devil,  more  false,  more  cruel,  more  unjust.  ^  No 
recourse  has  been  had  to  declamatory  recrimination  ; 
but  it  has  been  proved  by  cold-blooded  argument  that 
the  distinctive  principles  of  Arminianism,  in  making 
the  application  of  redemption  to  depend  upon  the 
self-determining  power  of  a  dead  man's  will,  make 
the  actual  salvation  of  any  sinner  a  sheer  impossibil- 
ity. How  such  a  scheme  magnifies  the  goodness  of 
God  can  only  be  conceived  by  those  who  are  able  to 
comprehend  how  a  dead  man  can  use  the  means  of 
^  Wesley's  sermon  on  Free  Grace. 

Objection  from  Divine   Wisdom.  325 

life.  The  love  of  the  Father  in  giving  his  Son,  the 
love  of  the  Son  in  obeying,  suffering,  dying  for  the 
salvation  of  sinners,  the  mission  of  the  eternal  Spirit 
to  apply  a  salvation  purchased  by  blood, — all  this  in- 
finite wealth  of  means  depends  for  efficacy  upon  the 
decision  of  a  sinner's  will,  a  decision  which,  without 
regenerating  and  determining  grace,  must,  in  accord- 
ance with  the  law  of  sin  and  death,  be  inevitably 
rendered  against  its  employment. 

The  proposition  will  no  doubt  have  been  regarded 
as  extraordinary,  but  it  is  now  repeated  as  a  conclu- 
sion established  by  argument,  that  a  merely  possible 
salvation  such  as  the  Arminian  scheme  enounces  is  to 
a  sinner  an  impossible  salvation.  When  the  argument 
has  been  convicted  of  inconclusiveness,  it  may  be 
time  to  resort  to  the  weapons  of  the  vanquished — 
strong  and  weighty  words. 

The  objection  against  the  Calvinistic  doctrines  of 
election  and  reprobation  that  they  are  inconsistent 
with  the  goodness  of  God  has  now  been  examined, 
and  it  has  been  shown,  first,  that  it  is  inapplicable, 
and  secondly,  that  the  Arminian  is  not  the  man  to 
render  it. 


The  next  objection  which  will  be  considered  is  de- 
rived from  the  wisdom  of  God.  It  may  be  stated  in 
the  words  of  Richard  Watson  :  "The  doctrine  of  the 
election  to  eternal  Tife  only  of  a  certain  determinate 
number  of  men,  involving,  as  it  necessarily  does,  the 
doctrine  of  the  absolute  and  unconditional  reproba- 
tion of  all  the  rest  of  mankind,  cannot,  we  may  con- 
fidently affirm,  be  reconciled  ...  to  the  wisdom  of 

326     Calviiiisjji  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni, 

God  ;  for  the  bringing  into  being  a  vast  number  of 
intelligent  creatures  under  a  necessity  of  sinning,  and 
of  being  eternally  lost,  teaches  no  moral  lesson  to  the 
world  ;  and  contradicts  all  those  notions  of  wisdom 
in  the  ends  and  processes  of  government  which  we 
are  taught  to  look  for,  not  only  from  (sic)  natural 
reason,  but  from  the  Scriptures."  ^ 

After  what  has  been  said  in  exposition  of  the  Cal- 
vinistic  doctrine,  it  cannot  fail  to  be  observed  that 
there  is  here  a  positive  misrepresentation  of  that  doc- 
trine ;  and  that  in  two  respects.  In  the  first  place, 
when  the  decree  of  reprobation  is  represented  as 
"absolute  and  unconditional,"  it  is  meant  to  imply 
that  it  just  as  efficaciously  determines  the  sin  and  de- 
struction of  some  men  as  the  decree  of  election  does 
the  holiness  and  salvation  of  others.  It  has  already 
been  shown  that  even  the  Supralapsarians  do  not 
profess  to  hold  such  a  view,  and  that  it  is  expressly 
denied  in  the  Calvinistic  Confessions,  and  by  the 
Sublapsarians,  who  constitute  the  vast  majority  of 
the  Calvinistic  body.  In  the  second  place,  the  state- 
ment is  incorrect  that  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  main- 
tains that  God  brought  into  being  a  vast  number  of 
intelligent  creatures  under  the  necessity  of  sinning 
and  of  being  eternally  lost.  The  common  teaching 
of  the  Calvinistic  Churches,  as  embodied  in  their 
Confessions  and  Catechisms,  is  that  Adam  might  have 
stood  in  innocence  and  secured  justification  for  him- 
self and  his  posterity,  who  were  represented  by  him 
nnder  the  covenant  of  works.  And  although  some 
Calvinistic  theologians  have  advocated  Necessitarian- 
ism, it  would  be  impossible  to  show  that  it  has  been 
^  Theo.  Ifist.,  vol.  ii.,  p.  341. 


Objection  from  Divine  Wisdom.  327 

taught  in  the  Calvinistic  Symbols.  Nor  have  the 
body  of  Calvinistic  divines  affirmed  the  view  that,  in 
the  first  instance,  man  was  under  any  necessity  of 
sinning.  The  doctrine  which,  in  the  foregoing  quo- 
tation, is  pronounced  inconsistent  with  the  divine 
wisdom  is  not  the  Calvinistic  doctrine,  and  therefore 
I  do  not  feel  called  upon  to  vindicate  it  from  excep- 
tions. Leaving  the  Necessitarian  to  answer  for  his 
own  position,  I  propose  briefly  to  show,  first,  that  the 
Calvinistic  doctrine  is  not  inconsistent  with  the 
wisdom  of  God,  and,  secondly,  that  the  Arminian 
doctrine  is. 

The  wisdom  of  God  is  that  attribute  by  which  he 
selects  ends  and  adopts  the  fittest  and  most  effectual 
means  to  secure  them.  Now  according  to  the  Cal- 
vinistic doctrine,  God  in  dealing  with  the  race  of 
human  sinners  proposed  to  himself  these  ends:  the 
glorification  of  his  grace  in  the  salvation  of  some,  and 
the  glorification  of  his  justice  in  the  punishment  of 
others.  In  order  to  secure  the  first  of  these  ends,  he 
determined  to  elect  some  of  the  mass  of  fallen,  cor- 
rupt and  hell-deserving  men  to  be  everlastingly 
saved,  and  in  pursuance  of  that  purpose,  gave  his 
Son  to  obey  his  violated  law  in  his  life  and  death  as 
their  substitute  and  so  to  render  perfect  satisfaction 
to  justice  for  their  sins,  and  then  imparts  to  them  his 
Spirit  to  unite  them  to  their  federal  Head,  to  deter- 
mine them  to  holy  obedience,  and  to  cause  them  to 
persevere  to  the  attainment  of  heavenly  felicity. 
What  fitter  and  more  effectual  means  can  be  imagined 
than  these  to  secure  the  proposed  end — namely,  the 
glorification  of  divine  grace  in  the  salvation  of  sin- 
ners?    There  is  a  precise  adaptation  of  the  means  to 

328     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arfninianism. 

the  end,  and  no  possible  contingency  in  regard  to  the 
result.  Where  is  the  inconsistency  with  divine  wis- 
dom in  this  procedure?  Does  it  not  illustrate  tliat 

In  order  to  secure  the  second  of  these  ends,  to  wit, 
the  glorification  of  his  justice  in  the  punishment  of 
sinners,  God  determined  to  leave  some  of  the  fallen, 
corrupt  and  hell -deserving  mass  under  the  just  sen- 
tence of  his  violated  law,  and  ordained  them  to  con- 
tinue under  the  condemnation  which  they  had  mer- 
ited by  their  sin.  The  question  is  not  now  whether 
that  end  were  worthy  of  God.  That  question  has 
alreadv  been  discussed.  But  assumino^  that  he  did 
propose  to  himself  such  an  end,  it  cannot  be  denied 
that  the  means  were  exactly  suited  to  secure  it.  So 
far  from  there  being  a  want  of  wisdom  in  tliis  pro- 
cedure, a  clear  exemplification  of  it  is  furnished. 

But  let  us  take  Mr.  Watson^s  conception  of  the 
divine  wisdom.  The  office  which  he  signalizes  as 
discharged  by  it  is  to  teach  moral  lessons  to  the 
world.  The  operation  of  the  decrees  which  Calvin- 
ists  ascribe  to  God  is  inconsistent  with  wisdom,  he 
contends,  because  it  teaches  no  moral  lesson  to  the 
world.  Surely  the  bestowal  of  the  unmerited  and 
transcendent  blessing  of  eternal  life  upon  some  sin- 
ners of  the  human  race,  while  others  are  left  to  per- 
ish, is  suited  to  impress  upon  its  recipients  a  lesson 
of  gratitude  which  they  will  never  forget  through 
the  everlasting  ages.  The  determination  to  inflict 
condign  punishment  upon  some  members  of  the  guilty 
race  is  adapted  to  teach  the  world  the  dreadful  evil  of 
sin  and  the  fearfulness  of  falling  into  the  hands  of  the 
living  God.     Is  not  the  retention  of  some  sinners  in 

Objeclion  from  Diviite  Wisdom.  329 

the  liands  of  vindicatory  justice,  while  others  are  dis- 
charged through  the  obedience  of  a  substitute,  also 
fitted  to  deter  all  intelligent  beings  from  tampering 
with  tlie  temptation  to  revolt  against  the  government 
of  God?  If  the  consistency  with  w-isdom  of  any 
measures  is  to  be  collected  from  their  fitness  to  im- 
part valuable  moral  lessons,  the  decrees  of  election 
and  reprobation,  as  represented  by  Calvinists,  must 
be  pronounced  eminently  consistent  with  that  attri- 

In  the  passage  which  has  been  cited  it  is  also 
declared  that  the  decrees  of  election  and  reprobation, 
as  conceived  by  Calvinists,  would,  in  their  execution, 
contradict  the  ends  of  a  wise  government,  so  far  as 
they  can  be  ascertained  from  reason  and  Scripture. 
Let  us  test  the  allegation.  The  ends  which  it  is 
usual  to  ascribe  to  a  wise  government  are  :  first,  the 
vindication  of  justice ;  secondly,  the  prevention  of 
crime  and  the  consequent  protection  of  society  ;  and 
thirdly,  the  reformation  of  offenders.  The  execution 
of  the  decree  of  reprobation  upon  the  inexcusable 
violators  of  the  divine  law  certainly  vindicates  the 
justice  of  God.  It,  therefore,  is  adapted  to  secure 
the  first  end  of  a  wise  government.  The  execution 
of  the  decrees  of  election  and  reprobation  tends  to  the 
prevention  of  sin, — that  of  election  by  engendering 
and  maintaining  in  its  objects  the  love  of  holiness 
and  the  hatred  of  wickedness  ;  that  of  reprobation  by 
infusing  the  dread  of  sin  into  all  beholders  of  its  de- 
served and  terrible  punishment.  The  execution  of 
these  decrees  is,  consequently,  adapted  to  promote 
the  second  end  of  a  wise  government. 

It  w^ould   be  folly  to  assert  that  the  third  end — 

330     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniiniajiisni, 

namely,  the  reformation  of  offenders,  is  alzvays  sought 
by  a  wise  government.  In  some  cases  it  is,  in  others 
it  is  not.  The  swift  execution  of  a  murderer  cannot 
be  regarded  as  a  measure  looking  to  his  reformation-, 
unless  destroying  his  life  may  be  considered  as  a 
means  of  his  living  better;  and  sending  him  out  of 
the  world  may  be  contemplated  as  qualifying  him  to 
discharge  his  duties  in  the  world.  The  decree  of  elec- 
tion proposes  the  reformation  of  offenders  and  secures 
it,  and  therefore  promotes  the  third  end  of  a  wise  gov- 
ernment. The  decree  of  reprobation  no  more  con- 
templates this  end  than  does  the  sentence  of  human 
law  which  adjudges  a  flagrant  criminal  to  summary 
execution.  And  it  deserves  to  be  solemnly  consid- 
ered that  every  sin  against  God  deserves  the  prompt 
execution  of  soul  and  body.  Who  among  the  ortho- 
dox would  take  the  ground  that  the  incarceration  of 
the  fallen  angels  in  hell  was  a  reformatory  measure? 
If,  then,  God  inflict  the  same  doom  upon  some 
human  sinners,  it  is  obvious  that  he  could  not  con- 
template their  reformation  as  an  end.  Enough  has 
been  said  to  evince  the  unjustifiableness  of  the  allega- 
tion, that  the  execution  of  the  decrees  of  election  and 
reprobation,  as  conceived  by  Calvinists,  would  con- 
tradict the  ends  which  a  wise  government  proposes  to 

Let  us  next  inquire  whether  the  Axminian  concep- 
tion of  the  plan  of  salvation  be  not  inconsistent  with 
wisdom.  On  account  of  the  inexact  and  confused 
phraseology  of  the  iVrminian  theology  in  its  statements 
concerning  the  plan  of  redemption,  we  are  obliged  in 
order  to  a  thorough  discussion  of  the  question  in 
hand    to  make  two   suppositions.      Either,   it    is    the 

Objection  from  Divine   Wisdom,  331 

Anninian  doctrine  that  God  proposed  as  an  end  the 
salvation  of  the  whole  race,  or  it  is  that  he  proposed 
as  an  end  the  salvability  of  the  whole  race. 

Let  ns  take  the  first  snpposition — namely,  that  the 
end  which  God  proposed  to  secnre  was  the  salvation 
of  the  whole  race.  We  are  jnstified  in  making  this 
snpposition,  becanse  Arminians  constantly  and  ve- 
hemently affirm  that  Christ  died  to  save  all  men,  and 
becanse  they  denounce  any  other  doctrine  as  utterly 
unscriptnral  and  as  dishonoring  the  character  of  the 
blessed  God.  It  must  be  admitted  that  if  the  end 
proposed  to  be  accomplished  had  been  the  salvation 
of  all  men,  it  would  have  been  one  characterized  by 
infinite  wisdom.  No  objection  is  now^  urged  against 
the  possible  consistency  of  such  an  end  with  the 
divine  wisdom.  But  assuming,  according  to  the  first 
supposition,  that  such  was  the  end  selected,  the 
question  necersarily  arises,  Are  the  means,  which  the 
Arminian  holds  to  have  been  adopted,  fitted  to  secure 
its  accomplishment?  If  not,  the  wisdom  of  the  plan 
breaks  dowm  in  the  selection  of  the  means.  What, 
then,  are  the  means  which,  according  to  the  Armin- 
ian statement,  were  selected  to  achieve  the  end? 
The  atonement  of  Christ  offered  for  the  sins  of  every 
man,  the  grace  of  the  Holy  Ghost  imparted  to  every 
man  to  enable  him  to  avail  himself  of  the  merit  of 
Christ,  and  the  undetermined  and  self-determining 
action  of  the  sinner's  will  in  improving  the  ability 
conferred  by  grace  and  embracing  the  ofifered  salva- 
tion. Now,  according  to  the  Arminian  doctrine,  the 
attainment  of  the  end,  to  wit,  the  salvation  of  all  men 
is,  from  the  nature  of  the  case,  contingent — that  is,  it 
may  or  may  not  take  place;  for,  it  is  conditioned  upon 

332     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  A^^niinianism, 

the  undetermined  and  contingent  action  of  every 
man's  will.  It  must,  therefore,  be  granted  by  the 
Arminian  himself  that  there  could  be,  from  the  very 
nature  of  the  means  employed,  no  certainty  as  to  the 
attainment  of  the  proposed  end.  And  facts  abund- 
antly prove  this  to  be  true;  for  all  men  are  not  actu- 
ally saved.  The  Arminian  is  not  a  Universalist,  but 
admits  this  fact — that  some  men  are  lost.  The  ques- 
tion is,  how  can  he  vindicate  the  wisdom  employed 
in  the  selection  of  means  which  fail  to  accomplish 
the  proposed  end?  The  end  is  the  salvation  of  the 
race.  That  fails.  Why  ?  Because  the  means 
adopted  are  inadequate  to  secure  it.  There  could 
therefore  be  no  wisdom  in  the  selection  of  the  means. 
Let  us  take  the  second  supposition.  The  Arminian 
may  contend  that  he  does  not  represent  the  end  to  be 
the  actual  salvation  of  all  men,  but  their  possible  sal- 
vation— not  their  salvation,  but  their  salvability.  We 
are  then  entitled  to  say  to  him:  If  that  be  your  view, 
in  the  name  of  consistency,  you  are  required  to  change 
your  phraseology.  Instead  of  saying  what  you  do  not 
mean — namely,  that  Christ  died  for  the  salvation  of 
all  men,  say  what  you  do  mean — namely,  that  Christ 
died  for  the  salvability  of  all  men.  Instead  of  saying 
what  you  do  not  mean — that  men  are  saved  by  grace, 
say  what  you  do  mean — that  men  save  themselves  by 
improving  grace.  Instead  of  saying  what  you  do  not 
mean — that  men  by  believing  in  Christ  enjoy  salva- 
tion in  the  present  life,  say  what  3^ou  do  mean — that 
men  enjoy  salvability  in  the  present  life,  and  may  en- 
joy salvation  in  the  future  life.  Square  your  terms 
with  )'our  doctrine,  that  men  may  understand  pre- 
cisely what  it  is,  and  may  no  longer  be  deceived  by 
the  "imposture  of  words." 

Objection  from  Divine  Wisdom.  333 

But  let  it  be  supposed  that  the  eud  which  the  Ar- 
miniau  attributes  to  God  is  the  possible  salvatiou  of 
all  men  ;  and  the  doctrine  is  impeachable  because  it 
ascribes  to  the  div'ine  scheme  of  redemption  no  ele- 
ment of  wisdom.  There  would  be  no  wisdom  in  the 
selection  of  the  end;  for  a  possible  salvation  is  no  sal- 
vation, can  be  no  salvation.  Unless  God  make  the 
salvation  of  the  dead  certain,  they  must  forever  lie 
dead.  A  possible  salvation  of  the  dead  apart  from 
their  actual  salvation  by  the  power  of  God  immedi- 
ately and  miraculously  exerted  upon  them  is  an  im- 
possible salvation.  Is  the  possible  salvation  of  the 
spiritually  dead  an  end  to  be  ascribed  to  divine  wis- 
dom ?  There  could  be  no  wisdom  in  the  selection  of 
the  means.  There  is  no  wisdom  in  the  adoption  of 
means  to  secure  an  impossible  end.  Worse  than  this, 
there  can  be  no  wisdom  in  the  selection  of  means 
which  are  themselves  impossible  to  be  employed.  In 
the  last  resort,  the  means  by  which,  according  to  the 
Arminian,  a  possible  salvation  becomes  actual  is  the 
self-determination  of  a  will  unregeuerated  by  the 
grace  of  God — that  is  to  say,  the  means  by  which  a 
dead  man  is  to  be. saved  from  death  is  the  self-deter- 
mined exercise  of  the  dead  man's  will.  In  short, 
there  can  be  no  wisdom  in  the  selection  of  an  end  im- 
possible of  attainment,  and  the  adoption  of  means 
impossible  of  employment.  Such  is  the  scheme  of 
salvability  which  under  the  fair  name  of  a  scheme  of 
salvation  the  Arminian  theology  eloquently  describes 
as  the  fruit  of  infinite  wisdom  !  The  proof  that  a 
nierel)'  possible  salvation  is  an  impossible  salvation 
has,  in  part,  been  furnished  in  the  foregoing  remarks: 
a  further  presentation  of  it  may  be  made  at  a  subse- 
quent stage  of  the  discussion. 

334    Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 


The  next  objection  which  requires  consideration  is, 
that  the  Calvinistic  doctrines  of  election  and  reproba- 
tion are  inconsistent  with  the  veracity  of  God. 

This  objection  is  presented  in  several  forms  : 

First,  that  these  doctrines  are  inconsistent  with 
those  passages  of  Scripture  which  declare  God's  love 
for  all  mankind,  and  the  consequence  of  that  love,  a 
universal  atonement. 

Secondly,  that  they  are  inconsistent  with  the  scrip- 
tural affirmation  that  God  wills  that  all  men  shall  be 

Thirdly,  that  they  are  inconsistent  with  the  com- 
mand of  God  that  all  men  should  repent  and  believe 
the  gospel,  and  with  the  universal  offer  of  salvation. 

The  first  and  the  second  of  these  special  forms  of 
the  objection  will  not  be  considered  in  this  place. 
The  question  of  the  Extent  of  the  Atonement  or  the 
question.  For  whom  did  Christ  die?  it  is  usual  to 
consider  under  a  special  head.  It  constituted  one  of 
the  points  debated  between  the  Remonstrants  and  the 
defenders  of  the  Synod  of  Dort.  The  question  of  the 
will  of  God  touchinor  the  salvation  of  all  men  is  coo-- 
nate  to  that  just  noticed,  and  properly  falls  to  be  ex- 
amined, in  part  at  least,  in  connection  with  it.  But 
it  may  here  be  remiarked  that  if  the  doctrine  of  elec- 
tion has,  in  the  preceding  part  of  this  discussion,  been 
proved  to  be  scriptural,  it  has  been  also  proved  that 
Christ  died  for  the  salvation  only  of  the  elect  ;  and 
that  God  efficaciously  wills  only  their  salvation. 
These  doctrines  stand  or  fall  together.  Assuming, 
then,  the  doctrine  of  election  and  its  necessary  conse- 

Objection  fj-oiu  Divine   Veracity.  335 

qiient,  particular  atonement,  the  Calvinist  is  bonnd 
to  meet  the  objection  that  they  are  inconsistent  with 
the  sincerity  of  God  in  commanding  all  men  every- 
where to  repent  and  believe  the  gospel,  and  in  ex- 
tending a  nniversal  offer  of  salvation.  This  form  of 
the  objection  it  is  now  proposed  to  examine. 

There  are  two  qnestions  involved  in  it  which,  al- 
though related  to  each  other,  are  sufficiently  distinct 
to  justify  their  separate  consideration. 

The  first  is,  '  How  can  the  doctrines  of  election  and 
reprobation  be'reconciled  with  the  command  of  God 
to  all  men  to  repent  and  believe  the  gospel  ?  Is  not 
God  represented  as  insincere  in  commanding  those  to 
repent  and  believe  whom  he  did  not  elect  to  be  saved 
and  from  whom  he  withholds  his  saving  grace?  In 
short,  how  can  the  sincerity  of  God  be  vindicated  in 
view  of  the  allegation  that  he  commands  those  to  re- 
pent and  believe  whom  he  has  decreed  to  reprobate, 
and  who,  he  therefore  foreknows,  cannot  obey  the 
command  ?  This  question  tlie  Calvinist  must  face. 
But  let  us  clear  away  irrelevant  matter,  so  that  the 
precise  issue  may  be  distinctly  apprehended.  The 
Arminian  puts  the  difficulty  in  this  way  :  God,  ac- 
cording to  the  Calvinist,  foreordained  and  necessitated 
the  sin  and  spiritual  inability  of  men  :  he  gives  them 
no  grace  to  relieve  them  of  their  inability  ;  and  yet 
commands  them  to  do  what  they  cannot  do,  in  conse- 
quence of  his  own  agency  exerted  upon  them.  How, 
then,  can  God's  sincerity  be  vindicated?  But  this  is 
not  the  true  state  of  the  question.  It  would  be,  if 
Calvinism  were  Necessitarianism  ;  and  how  the  Ne- 
cessitarian can  successfully  meet  the  difficulty,  I 
^  For  the  second  see  p.  353. 

33^     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianisni. 

confess  that  I  have  never  been  able  to  see.  Bat  Cal- 
vinism, as  it  has  already  been  shown,  is  not  Necessi- 
tarianism. While  it  maintains  the  position  that  men 
in  their  present  condition  are  spiritually  disabled,  and, 
apart  from  the  regenerating  grace  of  God,  are  under 
a  fatal  necessity  of  sinning — not  of  committing  this 
or  that  particular  sin' — but  of  sinning,  it  does  not 
hold  that,  in  the  first  instance,  that  necessity  existed. 
On  the  contrary  it  teaches  that  the  will  of  man  was 
^'neither  forced,  nor  by  any  absolute  necessity  of  nature 
determined  to  good  or  evil  ;"  that  while  man  in  in- 
nocence was  liable  to  fall  on  account  of  the  mutability 
of  his  will,  he  was  also  able  to  stand,  and  might  by 
complying  with  the  condition  of  the  covenant  of 
works  have  secured  justification.  According  to  Cal- 
vinism, then,  God  did  not  either  originate  or  necessi- 
tate man's  sin  and  consequent  inability.  The  form 
in  which  the  Arminian  usually  presses  the  objection 
is  consequently  irrelevant  and  unjustifiable.  The 
Calvinist,  therefore,  is  not  called  upon  to  meet  it.  It 
is  not  applicable  to  him.  He  is  no  knight-errant  who 
gallantly  undertakes  to  fight  other  people's  battles, 
but  is  satisfied  with  the  scope  afforded  to  his  valor  and 
his  arms  in  defending  his  own  position.  The  objec- 
tion which  he  is  fairly  enjoined  to  meet  is  that  which 
has  been  stated  :  Does  he  represent  the  God  of  truth 
as  insincere,  in  commanding  those  to  repent  and  be- 
lieve whom  he  decreed  to  reprobate  for  their  own, 
unnecessitated  sin,  and  who,  he  foreknows,  cannot 
obey  the  command  ? 

It  is  admitted  that  God  commands  all  men  every- 
where  to  repent  and   believe  the    gospel,    with   this 
^.This  distiuctiou  is  sigualized  by  Oweu. 

Objection  from  Divine   Veracity.  337 

limitation,  however:  that  all  men  who  are  com- 
manded are  those  who  liave  the  Word  of  God.  For 
how  conld  men  be  commanded,  if  they  have  no 
knowledge  of  the  command?  Let  ns  now  endeavor 
to  understand  exactly  what  the  Arminian  means  by 
this  objection.  Does  he  mean  to  take  the  orround 
that  whatsoever  God  commands  men  to  do,  he  effi- 
ciently decreed  that  they  should  do?  One  would 
suppose  that  this  is  his  meaning,  from  the  fact  that 
he  so  vehemently  contends  that  God  wills  the  salva- 
tion of  all  men.  What  else  can  be  meant  by  this 
position,  but  that  God  decretively  wills  the  salvation 
of  all  men?  If  this  be  his  meaning,  he  is  compelled 
to  hold  that  God's  decretive  will  is  defeated  in  in- 
numerable instances,  since  he  admits  the  fact  that 
man}-  men  refuse  to  obey  the  command  to  repent  and 
believe.  He  is,  consequently,  shut  up  to  the  con- 
cession that  there  is  a  discrepancy  between  the  com- 
mand of  God  and  his  decretive  will,  as  efficacious, 
and  is  debarred,  by  consistency,  from  pressing  that 
difficulty  upon  the  Calvinist  as  one  peculiar  to  him. 

If  he  mean  by  God's  will  that  all  men  should  be 
saved,  a  will  that  the  means  and  opportunities  for 
securing  salvation  should  be  enjoyed  by  all  men,  the 
same  result  follows,  for  he  is  forced  to  admit  the  fact 
that  those  means  and  opportunities  are  not  possessed 
by  all  men.  This  has  been  proved  in  the  foregoing 
remarks.  Upon  this  supposition,  also,  he  is  con- 
fionted  with  a  want  of  agreement  between  the  com- 
mand and  the  efficient  will  of  God,  and  is  deterred 
from  urging  his  own  difficulty  upon  the  Calvinist. 

If  he  mean,  that  God  wills  to  give  ability  to  all 
men  to  attain  salvation,  without  the  knowledge  of 

338     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

the  gospel,  lie  contradicts  his  own  definite  doctrine, 
that  in  order  to  be  saved  men  mnst  believe  the  gospel 
and  accept  the  salvation  which  it  tenders.  To  say 
that  the  Spirit,  by  immediate  revelation  and  apart 
from  the  written  Word,  ordinaril}^  communicates  the 
knowledge  of  salvation,  is  to  contravene  alike  the 
testimony  of  the  Scriptures  themselves  and  the  facts 
of  observation.  On  this  supposition,  also,  it  must  be 
allowed  that  there  would  be  a  want  of  concurrence 
between  the  command  of  God  and  his  efficacious  will 
that  all  men  should  be  saved  ;  and  again  the  Ar- 
minian  is  estopped  from  pressing  the  objection  under 

If  he  mean,  that  the  will  of  God  that  all  men 
should  be  saved  is  not  a  decretive  and  efficacious  will, 
but  a  desire .  that  all  men  should  be  saved,  as  he 
admits  the  fact  that  all  men  are  not  actually  saved, 
he  must  also  admit  a  disappointment  in  myriads  of 
instances  of  the  divine  desire,  and  a  corresponding 
diminution  of  the  divine  happiness  ;  and  there  would 
also  emerge  a  want  of  harmony  between  the  com- 
mand of  God  and  his  will,  in  the  form  of  desire,  that 
all  men  should  be  saved.  On  this  supposition,  the 
difficulty  objected  against  the  Calvinistic  doctrine 
lies  with  equal  weight  upon  the  Arminian. 

The  difficulty  created  by  any  one,  or  all,  of  these 
suppositions  is  not  removed,  if  the  Arminian  say  that 
in  this  sense  at  least  God  efficaciously  willed  the 
salvation  of  all  men — namely,  that  he  willed  by 
virtue  of  Christ's  atonement  that  the  disablinof  miilt 
of  Adam's  sin  should  be  removed  from  all  men.  For, 
the  question  returns,  How  such  a  will  could  be  a  will 
that  all  men  should  be  saved?     Conscious  depravity 


Objection  from  Divine   Veracity.  339 

would  still  remain,  with  the  guilt  and  curse  which  it 
entails,  and  unless  that  depravity  and  its  judicial 
consequences  are  removed  from  all  men  by  the  will 
of  God,  there  could  not  be  affirmed  to  be  a  will  of 
God  that  all  men  should  be  saved. 

If,  finally,  the  Arminian  say,  that  he  means  by  the 
will  of  God  that  all  men  should  be  saved,  only  a  per- 
missive will,  what  more  would  he  affirm  than  the 
Calvinist?  For  a  will  to  permit  all  men  to  be  saved 
would  amount  to  no  more  than  this  :  that  God  willed 
not  to  prevent  the  salvation  of  any  man  by  a  positive 
divine  influence  exerted  upon  him,  and  that  the  Cal- 
viiiist  admits  as  well  as  the  Arminian. 

If  in  answer  to  this  it  be  said,  that  the  Calvinist 
holds  that  the  judicial  curse  of  God  exerts  a  disabling 
influence  upon  the  sinner,  and  that  God  willed  to 
allow  that  disabling  influence  to  remain  upon  some 
of  mankind,  the  case  of  conscious  sin  and  the  con- 
demnation which  it  deserves  confronts  the  Arminian. 
All  actual  transgressions  merit  the  judicial  curse  of 
God,  and  the  Arminian  holds  that  men  commit  actual 
transgressions,  and  that  "the  wrath  of  God  is  re- 
vealed from  heaven  against  all  ungodliness  and  un- 
righteousness of  men."  Here  then  is  a  disabling 
curse  which  must  be  removed  ere  men  can  be  saved. 
Does  God  will  to  remove  it  from  all  men  as,  accord- 
ing to  the  Arminian,  he  willed  to  remove  the  con- 
demnation for  Adam's  sin  from  all  men?  If  so,  all 
men  are  actually  delivered  both  from  the  curse  pro- 
nounced upon  them  for  Adam's  sin,  and  that  inflicted 
upon  them  for  their  own  conscious  sins  ;  and  that 
involves  the  actual  salvation  of  all  men — a  position 
maintained  only  by  the  Universalist.     The  Arminian 

340      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

mnst  hold,  therefore,  that  God  willed  to  permit  the 
disabling  influence  of  his  judicial  curse  to  remain 
upon  some  men.  Consequently,  should  he  maintain 
the  view  that  God's  will  that  all  men  should  be 
saved  is  simply  a  permissive  will,  he  would  be  in  the 
same  relation  to  the  question  of  the  sincerity  of  God 
in  commanding  all  men  to  repent  as  that  sustained 
by  the  Calvinist. 

It  has  thus  been  evinced,  that  the  objection 
grounded  in  the  sincerity  of  God  is  one  which  the 
Arminian  as  well  as  the  Calvinist  is  required  to  meet. 
But  let  us  proceed  to  a  more  particular  examination 
of  the  objection  itself. 

There  are  evidently  two  fallacious  hypotheses  upon 
which  the  Arminian  founds  the  objection,  in  the 
special  form  under  treatment.  The  first  is,  that 
there  can  be  no  inconsistency  between  the  decretive 
will  and  the  preceptive  will  of  God — between  God's 
purpose  and  his  command.  The  second  is,  that  God 
cannot  sincerely  command  obedience  from  those  who 
are  not  able  to  render  it — in  other  words,  that  iu 
every  possible  case  ability  is  the  condition  and 
measure  of  duty.     Let  us  consider  the  first. 

It  is  strenuously  contended  by  the  Arminian  that  it 
is  necessary  to  suppose  that  when  God  commands 
anything  to  be  done,  he  also  decretively  wills  that  it 
should  be  done.  Otherwise,  an  inconsistency  is  as- 
cribed to  the  divine  will — God  wills  to  be  done  what 
he  does  not  will  shall  be  done.  A  contradiction 
emerges.  Now,  this  would  be  true  only  in  those 
cases  in  which  the  will  of  God  is  spoken  of  in  the 
same  sense.  To  say  that  God  decretively  wills  that 
a  thing  be  done  and  that  he  does  not  decretively  will 


Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  341 

that  the  same  thing  be  done,  or  that  he  preceptively 
wills  to  be  done  what  he  preceptively  wills  not  to  be 
done, — that  would  involve  a  contradiction.     But  to 
say  that  God  preceptively  wills  a  thing  to  be  done 
and    that   he    does    not    decretively    will    that   it   be 
done,— that  involves  no  contradiction,  for  the  reason 
that  the  divine  will  is  regarded   in  different  senses. 
This  the  Arminian  himself  must  admit,  or  maintain 
a  position  inconsistent  with  his  own  doctrine  as  to 
the  immutability  of  God,  with  the  plain  teachings  of 
Scripture,   and   with    the  most  obtrusive  facts.      He 
contends  that  God  commands  all  men  to  repent  and 
believe.     Here  is  God's  preceptive  will.     There  can 
be  no  dispute  about  it.      But  all  men  do  not  repent 
and  believe.      Neither  can  there  be  any  dispute  about 
that  fact.     The  question  then  is.  Did  God  decretively 
will  that  all  men  should  repent  and  believe?     This 
must  be  answered    in  the  affirmative,   upon  the  Ar- 
minian  ground   that   there  can   be  no   inconsistency 
between  the  preceptive  and  the  decretive  will  of  God. 
It  must  be  admitted   then   that  in  this  matter  of  the 
repentance  and  faith  of  all  men,  the  decretive  will  of 
God  has  failed  of  execution— he  has  not  accomplished 
what  he  decreed  to  accomplish.     What  becomes  of 
the  immutability  of  God,  not  to  speak  of  his  wisdom 
and   his   power?      But   the   Arminian  holds   the   im- 
mutability of  God.      He  is  therefore  palpably  incon- 
sistent with  himself.     He  is  obliged,  if  he  maintain 
the  infinite  perfections  of  God,  to  admit  that  the  pre- 
ceptive and  the  decretive  will  of  God  do  not  coincide 
in   regard    to  the  repentance  and    faith  of  all   men. 
Will  he  then,  in  spite  of  this  necessitated  admission, 
charge    the  Calvinist  with    unwarrantably  affirming 

342     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

an  inconsistency  between  the  command  of  God  that 
all  men  should  repent  and  believe  and  the  absence  of 
his  decree  that  all  should  obey  that  command? 

But  let  us  look  at  the  matter  in  the  light  of  revealed 
facts.  God,  through  Moses,  commanded  Pharaoh  to 
let  his  people  go.  Here  was  his  preceptive  will,  un- 
mistakably delivered,  and  enforced  by  tremendous 
sanctions.  Did  God  decretively  will  that  the  obstinate 
monarch  should  consent  to  let  his  people  go  ?  If  so, 
his  decretive  will  signally  failed  of  accomplishment. 
For  although  Pharaoh  under  the  pressure  of  judgment 
temporarily  consented,  he  ultimately  persisted  in  his 
refusal  and  was  destroyed.  As  that  cannot  without 
blasphemy  be  affirmed,  it  must  be  conceded  that  in 
the  case  of  Pharaoh  the  command  of  God  was  not 
concurrent  with  his  decree.  Was  God  insincere, 
therefore,  in  commanding  the  Egyptian  king  to  re- 
lease the  Israelites  from  bondage  ? 

God  commanded  Abraham  to  sacrifice  his  son  Isaac. 
Here  w^as  the  preceptive  will  of  God,  which  the  illus- 
trious patriarch  unhesitatingly  prepared  to  obey.  But 
the  event  proved  that  God  had  not  decretively  willed 
that  Isaac  should  be  sacrificed.  Here  was  another 
instance  of  a  want  of  coincidence  between  the  pre- 
ceptive and  the  decretive  will  of  God.  Was  God, 
then,  insincere  in  commanding  Abraham  to  sacrifice 
his  son  ? 

God  commanded  the  Jews  to  accept  Jesus  as  their 
Messiah  and  to  believe  in  him.  Here  was  his  precep- 
tive will.  Did  he  also  decretively  will  that  all  of 
them  should  accept  him  and  believe  in  him  ?  Surely 
not,  else  his  decree  was  balked  in  its  execution.  iVgain 
we  have  a  most  striking-  instance  of  the  fact  that  the 

Objcclioii  from  Divine  Veracity,  343 

command  of  God  does  not  always  tally  with  his  de- 
cretive will.  Who  would  take  the  ground  that  God 
was  insincere  in  commanding  all  the  Jews  to  accept 
Jesus  as  their  IMessiah  and  believe  in  him  ? 

With  these  scriptural  facts  the  course  of  God's  or- 
dinary providence  not  unfrequently  concurs.  How 
often  does  he  call  his  people  to  the  performance  of 
functions  which  he  does  not  intend  that  they  shall 
discharge!  A  young  man,  for  example,  is  pressed  by 
conscientious  convictions  that  it  is  his  duty  to  preach 
the  Gospel.  He  sedulously  prepares  for  the  great 
office.  His  preparations  completed,  the  church  which 
is  edified  by  his  ministrations  calls  him  to  preach. 
The  ecclesiastical  authorities  confirm  the  call.  There 
is  every  evidence  which  can  be  furnished  by  piety, 
gifts,  and  tlie  sustaining  judgment  of  his  brethren, 
that  he  is  called  to  preach.  And  yet  just  as  soon  as 
he  steps  upon  the  threshold  of  the  sacred  office  he  re- 
ceives the  summons  of  his  Master  to  leave  his  earthly 
work.  He  dies.  In  this  case  God's  command  and 
his  decree  do  not  coincide.  He  calls  his  servant  to 
do  a  work  which  he  did  not  intend  that  he  should 
perform.  As  in  the  instance  of  Abraham,  he  tests  the 
spirit  of  obedience,  and  stops  the  actual  sacrifice. 
Yet  who  would  say  that  God  is  insincere  in  extending 
a  call  to  duty  which  he  did  not  decretively  will  should 
be  actually  discharged  ? 

When,  therefore,  the  Calvinist  teaches  that  God 
commands  all  men  to  repent  and  believe,  but  that  he 
does  not  decretively  will  that  all  men  should  repent 
and  believe,  he  is  not  liable  to  the  censure  that  he 
charges  God  with  insincerity.  He  is  supported  in 
this  position  by  the  Word  of  God  and  the  facts  of 

344    Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisjn. 

But  the  Calvinist  contends  that  he  is  warranted  in 
going  further,  and  affirming  that  not  only  is  it  true 
that,  in  certain  cases,  God  does  not  decretively  will 
to  be  done  what  he  commands  to  be  done,  but  that, 
in  certain  cases  also,  God  decretively  wills  that  what 
he  commands  to  be  done  should  not  be  done.  That 
was  true  in  Abraham's  case.  God  himself  arrested 
his  performance  of  the  commanded  duty.  When  his 
obedient  servant  was  in  the  act  of  performing  it,  he 
stopped  him  by  the  command,  "Lay  not  thy  hand 
upon  the  lad."  It  is  plain  that  God  had  decretively 
willed  that,  so  far  as  the  consummation  of  the  duty 
was  concerned,  he  should  not  execute  his  preceptive 

Not  only  does  this  hold  true  of  the  obedience  of 
God's  serv^ants,  but  also  of  the  disobedience  of  his  en- 
emies. God  commanded  Pharaoh  to  liberate  Israel. 
He  hardened  the  heart  of  the  incorrigibly  wicked 
monarch  so  that  he  should  not  obey  the  command. 
This  is  the  express  language  of  Scripture,  and  they 
who  quarrel  with  it  quarrel  with  God.  Not  that  God 
made  Pharaoh  the  wicked  sinner  that  be  was.  His 
wickedness  was  his  own,  produced  by  and  chargeable 
upon  himself  God  did  not  insert  it  into  him,  nor 
did  he  necessitate  its  existence.  But  finding  him  as 
he  was,  furiously  bent  on  wickedness,  he  determined 
his  sinful  principle  into  a  special  and  definite  channel, 
in  order  to  achieve  the  redemption  of  his  aflfiicted 
people.  He  withdrew  from  him  his  Spirit,  left  him 
to  the  full  scope  of  his  evil  passions,  and  shut  him  up 
to  a  refusal  to  comply  with  the  divine  command.  In 
a  word,  God  judicially  punished  him  by  continuing 
him  under  the  necessity  of  expressing  his  own  exe- 

Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  345 

crable  wickedness.  The  destruction  of  Israel's  ene- 
mies and  their  own  glorious  liberation  were,  in  tlie 
divine  purpose,  conditioned  upon  Pharaoh's  obsti- 
nacy. His  obstinate  resistance  of  the  precepti\'e  will 
of  God  was,  therefore,  ordained  by  the  decretive  will 
of  God.  To  deny  this  is  to  deny  the  explicit  state- 
ments of  Scripture. 

God,  by  the  testimony  of  John  the  Baptist,  by  voices 
speaking  from  the  heavens,  and  by  unimpeachable 
miracles,  commanded  the  Jews  who  were  contempor- 
ary with  Jesus  to  ''hear  him"  and  to  believe  on  him. 
But  lie  decretively  willed  that  some  of  them  should 
be  the  agents  in  producing  his  death.  The  apostle 
Peter  in  his  great  sermon  on  the  day  of  Pentecost 
enounced  this  fact  when  he  said :  "Him,  being  de- 
livered by  the  determinate  counsel  and  foreknowledge 
of  God,  ye  have  taken  and  by  wicked  hands  have 
crucified  and  slain."  The  apostles,  said  in  a  prayer: 
"For  of  a  truth  against  thy  holy  child  Jesus  whom 
thou  hast  anointed,  both  Herod  and  Pontius  Pilate, 
with  the  Gentiles  and  the  people  of  Israel,  were  gath- 
ered together,  to  do  whatsoever  thy  hand  and  thy 
counsel  determined  before  to  be  done."  Assuredly 
the  death  of  Christ  and  the  form  in  which  it  was  in- 
flicted were  pre-determined.  Consequently,  the  means 
and  agencies  involved  must  likewise  have  been  fore- 
ordained. The  sinful  principle  of  which  the  atro- 
cious act  of  the  crucifixion  was  the  expression  was  not 
produced  by  the  divine  efficiency.  God  is  not  the 
author  of  sin.  The  sinner  is  himself  the  author  of  it. 
The  Scribes  and  Pharisees,  the  priests  and  rulers,  and 
the  contemporary  generation  of  their  countr\nien 
were  not  made  the  malicious  and  incorrigible  sinners 

34^     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianisni. 

they  were  by  the  di\ane  causality;  but  being  what 
they  were  by  virtue  of  their  own  election,  God  deter- 
mined to  shut  them  up  to  the  specific  expression  of 
wickedness  which  resulted  in  the  crucifixion  of  Christ. 
They  were  not,  by  the  divine  decree,  obliged  to  be 
sinners  or  to  sin,  but  they  were,  by  it,  obliged  to  vent 
their  own  wickedness  in  such  a  way  as  to  fulfil  the 
eternal  counsel  of  God  touching  that  event  which  is 
the  pivot  upon  which  the  whole  scheme  of  redemption 
turns.  In  a  word  they  with  wicked  hands  crucified 
and  slew  the  Saviour,  but  God  decretively  willed  that 
they  should  crucify  and  slay  him.  The  act  w^as  alike 
forbidden  and  decreed — commanded  not  to  be  done, 
and  decreed  to  be  done.  It  is  but  pntting  the  same 
thing  in  different  w^ords  to  say  that  God  commanded 
all  the  Jews  to  believe  in  Jesus,  and  decreed  that  some 
of  them  in  consequence  of  unbelief  should  slay  him. 
The  bearing  of  these  scriptural  facts  upon  the  ques- 
tion in  hand  is  obvious  and  striking.  The  Arminian 
denies  that  there  can  be  any  incompatibility  between 
the  preceptiv'e  and  the  decretive  will  of  God,  and  de- 
nounces the  distinction  between  them,  which  the  Cal- 
vinist  affirms,  as  dishonoring  to  the  divine  perfections. 
Consequently,  he  holds  that  as  God  has  expressed  his 
preceptive  will  in  the  form  of  a  command  that  all 
men  should  repent  and  believe  the  gospel,  his  decre- 
tive will  must  consist  with  it— that  in  point  of  fact 
he  wills  that  all  men  should  repent  and  believe;  other- 
wise God  would  be  insincere  in  issuing  such  a  com- 
mand. We  meet  this  position  by  showing  from  the 
indisputable  testimony  of  Scripture  that,  in  the  case 
of  Abraham,  of  Pharaoh,  and  of  some  of  the  Jews  in 
the  matter  of  our  Lord^s  crucifixion,  God  commanded 

Objection  from  Divine  Veracity,  347 

to  be  done  wliat  he  did  not  decretive! y  will  should  be 
done ;  and  further,   that,   in   each  of  these  cases,   he 
commanded  to  be  done  what  he  decreed  should  not  be 
done.     Especially  is  the  instance  of  the  crucifiers  of 
Christ  a  pertinent  one.     The  Arminian  says  that  as 
God  commands  all  men  to  repent  and  believe,  he  de- 
cretively  wills  that  all  men  should  repent  and  believe. 
The  Calvinist  says  that  God  commands  all  men  to 
repent  and  believe,  but  that  he  has  decretively  willed 
to  reprobate  some  men — that  is  to  say,  to  pass  them 
by,  to  withhold  from  them  the  saving  grace  which  he 
imparts  to  others,  and  to  shut  them  up  in  impenitency 
to  their  final  doom.      The  Scriptures,  in  the  instance 
designated,  clearly  illustrate  the  same  distinction,  en- 
forced   upon  a  more    restricted   theatre.      God    com- 
manded all   the  Jews  who  were  contemporary  with 
Jesus  to  repent  and  believe  in  him,  but  he  decretively 
willed  concerning  some  of  them  to  pass  them  by,  to 
withhold  from   them  his   saving  grace,   and  to  shut 
them  up  in  impenitency  to  their  final  doom.      Does 
any  one  dispute  the  applicability  of  this  language  to 
the  Jewish  rejectors  of  Christ  ?     Let  him  consider  the 
awful  words  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  as  found  in  the  thir- 
teenth chapter  of  Matthew,  and  especially  these,  re- 
corded in  the  eleventh   chapter  of  Romans:     "Wot 
ye   not  what  the   Scripture   saith  of  Elias  ?  how  he 
maketh    intercession  to  God  against    Israel,   saying, 
Lord,  they  have  killed  thy  prophets,  and  digged  down 
thine  altars;  and  I  am  left  alone  and  they  seek  my 
life.      But  what  saith  the  answer  of  God  unto  him  ? 
I  have  reserved  to  myself  seven  thousand  men,  who 
have  not  bowed  the  knee  to  the  image  of  Baal.     Even 
so  then  at  this  present  time  also  there  is  a  remnant 

348     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

according  to  the  election  of  grace.  And  if  by  grace, 
then  is  it  no  more  of  works  :  otherwise  grace  is  no 
more  grace.  But  if  it  be  of  works,  then  is  it  no  more 
grace :  otherwise  work  is  no  more  work.  What  then? 
Israel  hath  not  obtained  that  which  he  seeketh  for ; 
but  the  election  hath  obtained  it,  and  the  rest  were 
blinded  (according  as  it  is  written,  God  hath  given 
them  the  spirit  of  slumber,  eyes  that  they  should  not 
see,  and  ears  that  they  should  not  hear ;)  unto  this 
day.  And  David  saith,  Let  their  table  be  made  a 
snare,  and  a  trap,  and  a  stumbling-block,  and  a  rec- 
ompence  unto  them  :  Let  their  eyes  be  darkened, 
that  they  may  not  see,  and  bow  down  their  back 

These  arguments  derived  immediately  from  Scrip- 
ture are  sufficient  to  refute  the  hypothesis  of  the  Ar- 
minian  that  there  can  be  no  inconsistency  between 
the  preceptive  will  and  the  decretive  will  of  God — - 
between  the  divine  command  and  the  divine  purpose. 
Consequently,  the  objection  against  the  Calvinistic 
doctrines  of  election  and  reprobation  that  they  im- 
pute insincerity  to  God,  so  far  as  it  is  grounded  in 
that  hypothesis,  is  proved  to  be  destitute  of  scriptural 
foundation.  No  insincerity  is  ascribed  to  God  when 
it  is  maintained  that,  although  he  has  decreed  to  re- 
probate some  men  for  their  sin,  he  commands  all  men 
to  repent  and  believe  the  gospel.  Man's  duty  is  one 
thing,  God's, decree  another.  The  preceptive  will  of 
God  is  plainly  revealed  in  Scripture  as  a  rule  of  action 
which  all  men  are  required  to  obey.  The  decretive 
will  of  God,  concerning  the  salvation  of  this  or  that 
individual,  no  one  has  a  right  to  inquire  into  until  he 
has  complied  with  the  divine  command  to  believe  in 

Objection  from  Divine   l^eracity.  349 

Christ.  When  he  has  believed,  it  is  his  privilege  to 
be  assured  of  his  election,  testified  to  him  by  the  wit- 
ness of  the  Holy  Spirit  concurring  with  that  of  his 
own  spirit.  The  apostle  Paul  says  to  the  Thessalon- 
ian  believers:  "Knowing,  brethren  beloved,  your 
election  of  God."  What  Paul  knew  of  them,  they 
might  know  of  themselves.  Writing  to  the  Roman 
Christians,  he  says:  "Salute  Rufus,  chosen  (elect)  in 
the  Lord."  "The  secret  of  the  Lord  is  with  them 
that  fear  him,"  but,  from  the  nature  of  the  case,  it  is 
incognizable  by  the  ungodly. 

The  second  fallacious  hypothesis  upon  which  the 
Arminian  founds  his  objection  against  the  Calvinistic 
doctrine  touching  the  matter  in  hand  is,  that  in  every 
possible  case  ability  is  the  condition  and  measure  of 
obligation,  and  that,  consequently,  God  could  not 
sincerely  command  obedience  from  those  who  are  not 
able  to  render  it.  The  Calvinist  holds  that  without 
regenerating  and  determining  grace  no  man  can  obey 
the  command  of  God  to  repent  and  believe  the  gospel; 
and  that  God  has  decreed  to  withhold  that  grace  from 
those  who  are  not  included  in  his  electing  purpose. 
As,  therefore,  they  are  not  able  to  repent  and  believe, 
the  Calvinist  represents  God  as  insincere  in  command- 
ing them  to  repent  and  believe. 

The  hypothesis  that  in  every  possible  case  ability 
conditions  and  measures  duty  has  been  considered  in 
a  preceding  part  of  this  discussion.  There  it  was  ad- 
mitted that,  in  the  first  instance,  in  which  the  require- 
ments of  law  are  laid  upon  its  subject,  his  ability  to 
obey  is  pre-supposed.  It  was  conceded  that  the  first 
man  and  the  race  represented  by  him  were  possessed 
of  original   ability  to  obey  the  divine  law.     But  it 

350     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisrn. 

was  shown  that  when  the  original  ability  with  which 
the  subject  of  government  is  endowed  has  by  wilful 
and  unnecessitated  sin  been  sacrificed,  a  penal  in- 
ability supervenes,  which  cannot  possibly  discharge 
him  from  the  oblio^ation  to  render  obedience  to  the 
divine  requirements.  So  when  Adam  and  the  race  in 
him  by  their  own  inexcusable  act  forfeited  their  con- 

}  created  ability  to  obey  God,  the  penal  inability  which 

I  followed  as  a  judicial  consequence  could  not  release 
them  from  the  duty  to  obey  the  divine  commands. 
It  may  be  affirmed  as  an  indubitable  principle,  that 
God's  right  to  command  and  man's  duty  to  obey  can- 
not be  impaired  by  sin  and  the  inability  which  it 
necessarily  entails  upon  its  perpetrators.  The  wilful 
transgressor  of  the  divine  law  continues  to  be  subject 
to_.tlie  obligation  which  originally  rested  upon  him. 
Although  disabled  by  guilt  and  corruption,  he  is 
bound  to  perform  the  duties  to  which  he  was  compe- 
tent in  innocence.  The  fallen  angels  are  not  released 
from  the  obligation  to  obey  God  by  the  fact  of  their 
inability  to  obey  him.  They  are  as  much  bound  to 
render  obedience  to  him  in  hell,  as  they  originally 
were  in  heaven.  So  is  it  with  men.  The  only  ques- 
tion concerning  which  any  doubt  is  possible  is  in  re- 
gard to  the  justice  of  their  implication  in  the  sin  of 
Adam  and  its  penal  results.  That  question  has  been 
already  discussed.  If  the  justice  of  that  procedure  be 
admitted,  it  must  be  granted  that  God's  right  to  com- 
mand obedience  from  men  and  their  duty  to  render  it 
are  not  qualified  by  the  fact  of  their  penal  inability. 
Consequently,  God  without  any  breach  of  sincerity 
may  command  those  to  repent  and  believe  the  gospel 

I  whose  guilt  and  depravity  disable  them  for  complying 

;  with  the  requirement. 

Objection  fr 0711  Divine  Veracity.  351 

It  will  not  be  denied  that  repentance  is  a  duty 
which  nature  itself  requires  of  the  sinner.  It  would 
be  a  duty,  although  there  were  no  specific  command 
which  imposed  it.  It  cannot,  therefore,  be  disputed 
that  God  may  rightfully  and  sincerely  exact  by  special 
command  the  performance  of  a  duty  which  is  bound 
iipon  the  sinner  by  his  natural  conscience.  Nor  does 
it  aifect  the  case  to  say  that  the  sinner  cannot  comply 
with  this  requirement.  It  is  his  duty  to  repair  the 
wrong  which  he  has  done,  notwithstanding  the  fact 
that  he  has  disabled  himself  for  making  the  repara- 
tion. Repentance  is,  in  one  sense,  clearly  a  legal 
duty;  and  the  sinner's  incapacity  to  perform  it  cannot 
release  him  from  the  obligation  to  discharge  it,  nor 
impair  God's  right  to  impose  it  by  special  command. 

But  while  this  may  be  acknowledged,  it  may  be 
urged  that  the  duty  to  believe  in  Christ  for  salvation 
stands  on  a  different  foot — that  faith  is  not  required 
by  a  legal,  but  by  an  evangelical,  command.  Hence 
it  may  be  argued  that  as  faith,  unlike  repentance, 
stands  related  not  to  the  authority  of  law,  but  to  the 
provisions  of  a  redemptive  scheme  which  is  the  free 
product  of  God's  gracious  will,  it  cannot  with  sin- 
cerity be  demanded  of  the  sinner,  unless  at  the  same 
time  sufficient  ability  to  exercise  it  be  communicated 
to  him.  In  a  w^ord,  faith  may  be  said  to  lie  outside  | 
of  that  class  of  legal  duties  which  no  self-contracted  ] 
disability  can  excuse  men  from  performing.  As  it  is 
not  obedience  to  law,  but  to  the  gospel  of  God's  grace, 
the  right  to  demand  it  supposes  the  supernatural  im- 
partation  of  ability  to  yield  it.  But  this,  it  may  be 
replied,  is  an  erroneous  statement  of  the  case.  It  is 
cheerfully  conceded  that  faith,  although  characterized 

352     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisjn. 

as  obedience,  is  not  legal  righteousness.  Its  matter  is 
not  the  works  of  the  law,  nor  is  its  end  justification  on 
the  o^round  of  personal  obedience.  It  obeys  by  not 
obeying.  That  is  to  say,  the  very  essence  of  the  obe- 
dience which  it  involves  is  the  renunciation  of  legal 
righteousness  as  a  complement  of  personal  works,  and 
reliance  upon  the  righteousness  of  another,  even  the 
righteousness  of  Christ  as  the  substitute  of  the  guilty. 
But  while  this  is  true,  faith  is  nevertheless  obedience 
to  law.  The  gospel  is  not  the  product  of  law,  but  of 
grace.  But  the  gospel  as  the  fruit  of  grace  being  in 
existence,  God  as  Lawgiver  and  Ruler  commands 
men  to  receive  it  and  to  believe  in  the  Saviour  whom 
it  reveals.  If  the  question  be  asked.  Why  should 
men  believe  in  Christ?  with  reference  to  the  end  con- 
templated, the  answer  is,  In  order  to  their  being 
freely  justified  by  grace  on  the  ground  of  the  vicarious 
obedience  of  Christ.  If  the  same  question  be  asked, 
with  reference  to  the  ground  of  the  obligation  to  be-  - 
lieve  in  Christ,  the  answer  is,  Because  God  has  com- 
manded them  to  do  it.  The  authoritative  will  of  God 
or,  in  other  words,  his  law,  expressed  in  the  form  of 
a  specific  command  requiring  faith  in  Christ,  obliges 
those  who  hear  the  gospel  to  exercise  that  faith.  He, 
therefore,  who  believes,  obeys  God's  law  as  well  as 
trusts  in  his  mercy,  and  he  who  refuses  to  believe  is 
alike  a  violator  of  the  divine  law  and  a  despiser  of 
divine  grace. 

If  this  view  be  correct — and  it  is  difficult  to  per- 
ceive how  it  can  be  gainsaid — the  principle  that  a 
self-originated  inability  to  obey  the  law  cannot  impair 
God's  right  to  command  obedience,  nor  man's  duty 
to  render  it,  applies  as  well  to  faith  in  Christ  as  to 

Objection  from  Divine   Veracity,  353 

those  purely  legal  works  which  are  required  by 
natural  religion.  Consequently  no  insincerity  can  be 
imputed  to  God  in  connnanding  those  to  believe  in 
Christ  who  have  no  power  to  comply  with  the  re- 

The  mode  in  which  the  Arminian  attempts  to  avoid 
the  difficulty  which  he  urges  against  the  Calviuist  is 
utterly  unsatisfactory.  For,  in  the  first  place,  if  he 
take  the  extraordinary  ground  that  the  command  to 
repent  and  believe  is  imposed  literally  upon  all  men 
— that  is,  upon  every  individual  of  the  race — he  can- 
not prove  that  such  an  ability  to  obey  it  as  he  con- 
tends for  is  imparted  to  the  millions  of  the  strictly 
heathen  world.  In  the  second  place,  it  has  already 
been  shown  by  conclusive  arguments,  and,  if  God 
permit,  may  still  furtlier  be  evinced,  that  the  ability 
which  he  claims  for  those  who  live  under  the  gospel 
scheme  is  wholly  insufficient  to  enable  the  unre- 
generate  sinner  to  repent  and  believe  in  Christ.  He 
professes  to  meet  the  difficulty  growing  out  of  the 
divine  sincerity,  but  in  reality  fails  to  remove  it.  It 
presses  upon  his  system  as  well  as  upon  the  Calvin- 

Let  us  now  pass  on  to  consider  the  second  form  of 
this  objection — namely,  that,  upon  the  Calvinistic 
scheme,  the  universal  offer  of  salvation  through  the 
invitations  of  the  gospel  is  inconsistent  with  the 
sincerity  of  God.  The  difficulty  is  thus  put  by 
Richard  Watson  ;  "Equally  impossible  is  it  to  recon- 
cile this  notion  to  the  sincerity  of  God  in  offering 
salvation  to  all  who  hear  the  gospel,  of  whom  this 
scheme  supposes  the  majority,  or  at  least  great  num- 
bers, to  be  among  the  reprobate.  The  gospel,  as  we 

354      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

have  seen,  is  commanded  to  be  preached  to  'every 
creature;'  which  publication  of  'good  news  to  every 
creature'  is  an  offer  of  salvation  'to  every  creature,' 
accompanied  with  earnest  invitations  to  embrace  it, 
and  admonitory  comminations  lest  any  should  neglect 
and  despise  it.  But  does  it  not  involve  a  serious 
reflection  upon  the  truth  and  sincerity  of  God  which 
men  ought  to  shudder  at,  to  assume,  at  the  very  time 
the  gospel  is  thus  preached,  that  no  part  of  this  good 
news  was  ever  designed  to  benefit  the  majority,  or 
any  great  part,  of  those  to  whom  it  is  addressed?  that 
they  to  whom  the  love  of  God  in  Christ  is  proclaimed 
were  never  loved  by  God?  that  he  has  decreed' that 
many  to  whom  he  offers  salvation,  and  whom  he  in- 
vites to  receive  it,  shall  never  be  saved?  and  that  he 
will  consider  their  sins  aggravated  by  rejecting  that 
which  they  never  could  receive,  and  which  he  never 
designed  them  to  receive?"^ 

There  are  two  chief  difficulties  with  which,  to  my 
jnind,  the  Calvinistic  scheme  has  to  cope.  The  first 
lis  that  which  attends  the  attempt  to  reconcile  with 
the  justice  and  goodness  of  God  the  implication  of  all 
men  in  the  sin  of  Adam  and  its  judicial  results.  This 
difficulty  has  already  been  carefully  considered,  and 
it  has  been  shown  that  it  bears  more  heavily  upon  the 
Arminian  than  upon  the  Calvinistic  system.  But 
admitting  the  justice  and  benevolence  of  the  constitu- 
tion under  which  the  first  man  and  his  posterity  were 
collected  into  unity  upon  the  principle  of  legal  repre- 
sentation, and  that  in  this  way  the  guilt  and  spiritual 
inability  of  the  race  were  self-contracted  and  justly 
imputable,  the  Calvinist  is  able  to  justify  the  decrees 
'  Theo.  Institutes^  vol.  ii.,  p.  343. 

Objection  from  Divine   Veracity,  355 

of  unconditional  election  and  of  reprobation,  and  to/ 
affirm  God's  right  to  command  and  man's  obligation/ 
to  obey,   notwithstanding   the   fact  that  men   are  in' 
themselves  unable  to  render  the  required  obedience. 

The   second    difficulty — the    gravity    of    which    it 
would  be  idle  to  deny — is  that  which  grows  out  of 
tlie  necessity  of  adjusting  to  our  conceptions  of  God's 
sincerity  the  universal  offer  of  the  gospel :  the  diffi- 
culty which   it   is   now   proposed   to   examine.      The 
pinch  of  it  is  in  this  circumstance  :  that  God  not  only  • 
commands  men  to  repent  and  believe  as  a  duty  which 
they   owe    to    him,    but    invites    and    urges   them   to 
accept  salvation  as  a  benefit  which  he  tenders  them. 
They  are  not  only  addressed  as  the  subjects  of  gov- 
ernment,  but  as  the  objects  of  mercy.     That   God  ^ 
should  offer  th^m  the  blessings  of  salvation,  without 
having  designed  those  blessings  for  all  and  without    , 
conferring  upon  all  the  ability  to  accept  them,  seems   1 
to  involve  a  mockery  of  human  wretchedness,  and  a 
deviation  from  sincerity. 

The  doctrine  upon  this  point  of  the  Calvinistic 
system  is  thus  set  forth  by  the  Synod  of  Dort:  "This 
death  of  the  Son  of  God  is  a  single  and  most  perfect 
sacrifice  and  satisfaction  for  sins,  of  infinite  value  and 
price,  abundantly  sufficient  to  expiate  the  sins  of  the 
whole  world."  ^  "The  promise  of  the  gospel  is,  that 
whosoever  believeth  in  Christ  crucified  shall  not 
perish,  but  have  eternal  life :  which  promise  ought 
to  be  announced  and  proposed  promiscuously  and  in- 
discriminately to  all  nations  and  men  to  whom  God, 
in  his  good  pleasure,  hath  sent  the  gospel,  with  the 
command   to  repent  and  believe.'"     "But   because 

1  Ch.  ii.  Art.  3.  '  Ch.  ii.  Art.  5. 

356     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

many  who  are  called  by  the  gospel  do  not  repent  nor 
believe  in  Christ,  bnt  perish  in  unbelief;  this  doth 
not  arise  from  defect  or  insufficiency  of  the  sacrifice 
offered  by  Christ  upon  the  cross,  but  from  their  own 
fault."  ^  "Sincerely  and  most  truly  God  shows  in 
his  Word  what  is  pleasing  to  him,  namely,  that  they 
wdio  are  called  should  come  to  him  ;  and  he  sincerely 
promises  to  all  wdio  come  to  him,  and  believe,  the 
peace  of  their  souls  and  eternal  life."  ^ 

The  following  are  the  words  of  the  Westminster 
Confession  of  Faith  :  "Others,  not  elected,  although 
they  may  be  called  by  the  ministry  of  the  Word,  and 
may  have  some  common  operations  of  the  Spirit,  yet 
they  never  truly  come  to  Christ,  and  therefore  cannot 
be  saved."''  The  Larger  Catechism  thus  puts  the 
case:  "All  the  elect,  and  they  only,  are  effectually 
called  ;  although  others  may  be,  and  often  are,  out- 
wardly called  by  the  ministry  of  the  Word,  and  have 
some  common  operations  of  the  Spirit,  who,  for  their 
wilful  neglect  and  contempt  of  the  grace  offered  to 
them,  being  justly  left  in  their  unbelief,  do  never 
truly  come  to  Jesus  Christ."  * 

It  deserves  to  be  noticed,  that  the  sufficiency  of  the 
atonement  to  ground  the  salvation  of  all  men  is  fully 
admitted.  The  limitation  which  the  Calviuist  affirms 
is  not  upon  the  intrinsic  value  of  the  atonement,  but 
in  relation  to  the  design  of  God  touching  the  persons 
for  whom  it  was  to  be  offered  as  a  ransom-price,  and 
its  application  to  them  in  order  to  make  their  salva- 
tion certain.  The  infinite  dignity  of  the  person  of 
Christ,  and  the  connection  of  his  divine  nature  with 

^  Ch.  ii.  Art.  6.  2  ^^^^   ^ji   ^rt  9. 

3  Ch.  X.  Sec.  iv.  *  Oues.  68. 

Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  357 

his  hnnian,  imparted  infinite  worth  to  liis  whole  obe- 
dience in  life  and  in  death.  In  a  word,  the  atoning 
merit  of  Christ  was  infinite.  The  following  remarks 
of  the  great  John  Owen,  as  strict  a  Calvinist  as  ever 
lived,  may  be  regarded  as  representative:  "The  first 
thing  that  we  shall  lay  dow^n  is  concerning  the  dig- 
nity, worth,  precionsness,  and  infinite  vahie  of  the 
blood  and  death  of  Jesns  Christ.  The  maintaining 
and  declaring  of  this  is  donbtless  especially  to  be  con- 
sidered; and  every  opinion  that  doth  bnt  seemingly 
clash  against  it  is  exceedingly  prejudiced,  at  least  de- 
servedly suspected,  yea,  presently  to  be  rejected  by 
Christians,  if  upon  search  it  be  found  to  do  so  really 
and  indeed,  as  that  which  is  injurious  and  derogatory 
to  the  merit  and  honor  of  Jesus  Christ.  The  Scrip- 
ture, also,  to  this  purpose  is  exceeding  full  and  fre- 
quent in  setting  forth  the  excellency  and  dignity  of 
his  death  and  sacrifice,  calling  his  blood,  by  reason  of 
the  unity  of  his  person,  'God's  own  blood,'  Acts  xx. 
28  ;  exalting  it  infinitely  above  all  other  sacrifices,  as 
havirig  for  its  principle  '  the  eternal  Spirit,'  and  being 
itself  'without  spot,'  Heb.  ix.  14;  transcendently 
more  precious  than  silver,  or  gold,  or  corruptible 
things,  I  Pet.  i.  18;  able  to  give  justification  from  all 
things,  from  which  by  the  law  men  could  not  be  jus- 
tified. Acts  xiii.  28.  Now,  such  as  was  the  sacrifice 
and  offering  of  Christ  in  itself,  such  was  it  intended 
by  his  Father  it  should  be.  It  was,  then,  the  purpose  , 
and  intention  of  God  that  his  Son  should  oflTer  a  sac-  ^ 
rifice  of  infinite  worth,  value  and  dignity,  sufficient  \ 
in  itself  for  the  redeeming  of  all  and  every  man,  if  it 
had  pleased  the  Lord  to  employ  it  to  that  purpose  ; 
yea,  and  of   other  worlds   also,   if  the  Lord   should 

358     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

freely  make  them,  and  would  redeem  them.  Suffi- 
cient we  say,  then,  was  the  sacrifice  of  Christ  for  the 
i  redemption  of  the  whole  world,  and  for  the  expiation 
j  of  all  the  sins  of  all,  and  every  man  in  the  world. 
This  sufficiency  of  his  sacrifice  hath  a  twofold  rise  : 
First,  the  dignity  of  the  person  that  did  offer  and  was 
offered  ;  Secondly,  the  greatness  of  the  pain  he  en- 
dured, by  which  he  was  able  to  bear,  and  did  undergo, 
the  whole  curse  of  the  law  and  wrath  of  God  due  to 
sin.  And  this  sets  ont  the  innate^  real^  trne  worth 
and  value  of  the  blood-shedding  of  Jesus  Christ.  This 
is  its  own  true  internal  perfection  and  sufficiency. 
That  it  should  be  applied  unto  any,  made  a  price  for 
them,  and  become  beneficial  to  them,  according  to 
the  worth  that  is  in  it,  is  external  to  it,  doth  not  arise 
from  it,  but  merely  depends  upon  the  intention  and 
will  of  God.  It  w\as  in  itself  of  infinite  value  and 
sufficiency  to  have  beeii  made  a  price  to  have  bought 
and  purchased  every  man  in  the  world.  That  it  did 
formally  become  a  price  for  any  is  solely  to  be  ascribed 
to  the  purpose  of  God,  intending  their  purchase  and 
redemption  by  it.  The  intention  of  the  offerer  and 
accepter  that  it  should  be  for  siich^  some  or  any^  is 
that  which  gives  the  formality  of  a  price  unto  it ;  this 
is  external.  But  the  value  and  fitness  of  it  to  be  made 
a  price  ariseth  from  its  own  internal  sufficiency."  ^ 

The  views  so  strongly  expressed  by  the  illustrious 
Puritan  have  not  been  modified  by  the  utterances  of 
more  recent  theologians.  They  are  fully  maintained 
by  such  men  as  Cunningham,  Hodge  and  Thornwell. 
The  truth  is  that  the  intrinsic  sufficiency  of  the  atone- 
ment cannot  be  exaggerated.  The  obedience  of 
^  WorliSy  Goold's  Kd.,  vol.  x,  pp.  295,  296. 

Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  359 

Christ  was  exhaustive  of  the  requirements  of  the  di- 
vine law,  preceptive  and  penal.     It  was,  consequently, 
susceptible,  in  itself  considered,  of  limitless  applica- 
tion, in  all  cases,  at  least,  in  which  the  principle  of 
federal  representation  was  capable  of  being  employed. 
When,  therefore,  the  terms  limited  atoiienient,  definite^] 
atonement,  particular  atonement,  are  used,  it  must  be  / 
observed  that  they  have  no  reference  to  the  intrinsic 
value  of  Christ's  satisfaction,   but  relate   entirely  to. 
the  sovereign  purpose  of  God. 

It  follows  from  this  view  that,  as  the  atonement  of 
Christ  was,  in  itself,  sufficient,  had  God  so  pleased,  to 
ground  the  salvation  of  all  men,  it  is  sufficient  to 
oround  the  universal  offer  of  salvation.  Men  are  in- 
vited  to  stand  on  a  platform  which  is  broad  enough 
to  hold  them  all,  to  rest  upon  a  foundation  which  is 
strong  enough  to  support  them  all,  to  partake  of  pro- 
visions which  are  abundant  enough  to  supply  them 
all.  When,  therefore,  God  invites  all  men  to  seek 
salvation  in  Christ,  he  is  not  insincere  in  offering  them 
a  platform  too  narrow  to  hold  them,  a  foundation  too 
weak  to  sustain  them,  provisions  too  meagre  to  supply 
them.  Were  they  all  to  accept  the  invitation,  they 
would  all  be  saved.  So  much  for  the  intrinsic  suf- 
ficiency of  the  remedy  for  human  sin  and  misery. 
So  far  the  Calvinist  is  not  chargeable  with  represent- 
ing God  as  insincere  in  the  matter  of  the  gospel  offer. 

It  will  be  urged,  however,  that  notwithstanding  his 
admission  of  the  absence  of  limitation,  as  to  the  in- 
trinsic sufficiency  of  the  atonement,  the  difficulty  re- 
mains in  view  of  his  doctrine  that  there  is  limitation, 
as  to  its  extrinsic  design  and  application.  It  was  not 
rendered  for  all,  it  is  not  intended  to  be  effectually 

360    Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

applied  to  all ;  it  cannot,  therefore,  be  sincerely  of- 
fered to  all  as  a  remedy  for  the  evils  under  which 
they  suffer. 

In  order  that  the  precise  nature  of  the  gospel  offer 
should  be  apprehended,  let  us  collect  some  of  the 
prominent  passages  of  Scripture  in  which  it  is  ex- 
pressed. *'Ho,  every  one  that  thirsteth,  come  ye  to 
the  waters,  and  he  that  hath  no  money;  come  ye,  buy 
and  eat ;  yea,  come  buy  wine  and  milk  without  money 
and  without  price.'^*  "And  he  said  unto  them.  Go 
ye  into  all  the  world,  and  preach  the  gospel  to  every 
creature.  He  that  believeth,  and  is  baptized,  shall  be 
saved  ;  but  he  that  believeth  not  shall  be  damned. '^^ 
**Come  unto  me,  all  ye  that  labour  and  are  heavy 
laden,  and  I  will  give  you  rest.'^*  "In  the  last  day, 
that  great  day  of  the  feast,  Jesus  stood  and  cried,  say- 
ing, If  any  man  thirst,  let  him  come  unto  me,  and 
drink.  He  that  believeth  on  me,  as  the  Scripture 
hath  said,  out  of  his  belly  shall  flow  rivers  of  living 
water.^'*  "Whosoever  shall  call  on  the  name  of  the 
Lord  shall  be  saved. "^  "Let  him  that  is  athirst 
come ;  and  whosoever  will,  let  him  take  the  water  of 
life  freely.'^" 

In  these  scriptural  statements  of  the  gospel  offer,  no 
man  is  invited  to  believe  that  Clirist  died  for  him  in 
particular.  Every  man  is  invited  to  believe  in  Christ 
in  order  to  his  being  saved.  The  plain  meaning  of 
the  offer  is,  Believe  in  Christ  and  you  shall  be  saved  : 
you  are  a  sinner ;  Christ  died  to  save  sinners ;  if  you 
believe  in  him  as  a  Saviour,  you  shall  be  saved.     If 

^  Isa.  Iv.  I,  *Mark  xvi,  15,  16. 

*Matt.  xi.  28.  *John  vii.  37,  38. 

*Rom.  X.  13.  'Rev.  xxii.  17. 


Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  361 

the  Calvinist  representing  the  vScriptures  as  teaching 
that  Christ  died  to  save  the  elect,  should  also  repre- 
sent God  as  inviting  every  man  to  believe  that  Christ 
died  for  him  in  particular,  he  would  be  justly  charge- 
a])le  wi'h  imputing  insincerity  to  the  divine  Being.* 
But  he  is  not  guilty  of  this  inconsistency.  He  regards 
the  offer  as  consisting  of  a  condition  and  a  promise 
suspended  upon  its  discharge.  The  condition  is 
faith  ;  the  promise  is  salvation.  The  terms  simply 
are :  if  you  believe  in  Christ  as  a  Saviour  you  shall 
be  saved  ;  and  you  are  invited  so  to  believe.  Per- 
form the  condition,  and  the  promised  salvation  is 
yours.  The  preachers  of  the  gospel  have  no  com- 
mission to  proclaim  to  every  man  that  Christ  died  to 
save  him,  and  that  he  ought  to  believe  that  fact. 
That  would  be  to  exhort  men  to  believe  that  they  are 
saved,  before  they  exercise  faith  in  Christ.  For 
surely  to  believe  the  proposition,  Christ  died  for  thee, 
and  to  believe  in  Christ  as  a  personal  Saviour,  are 
very  different  things.  The  Calvinist,  therefore,  does 
not  blasphemously  ascribe  a  want  of  veracity  to  God 
by  representing  him  as  teaching,  in  the  doctrinal 
statements  of  his  Word,  that  Christ  did  not  die  for 
every  man,  and  as  declaring  in  the  gospel  offer  that 
Christ  did  die  for  every  man.  He  holds  that,  in  the 
gospel  offer,  God  simply  announces  the  condition 
upon  which  men  may  be  saved  and  indiscriminately 
invites  all  to  fulfil  it. 

This  being  the  state  of  the  case,  I  remark  that  the 
gospel  offer  gives  to  every  man  who  hears  it  a  divine 

^This  argument  against  the  Calvinist  is  styled  the  Remon- 
strants' Achilles  ;  but  it  does  about  as  much  harm  to  the  Calvinist 
as  the  Greek  hero  while  sulking  in  his  tent  to  the  Trojan. 

362     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

warrant  to  believe  in  Christ  and  be  saved.  So  far  as 
God's  assurance  is  concerned,  he  has  a  right  to  believe 
and  be  saved,  if  he  will.  The  terms  are,  Whosoever 
will,  let  him  take  the  water  of  life  freely.  Where  is  the 
insincerity  of  such  an  offer?  It  could  only  be  evinced 
by  showing  that  God  is  the  author  of  the  sinner's  will 
not  to  believe  and  be  saved.  But  it  has  been  already 
sufficiently  manifested  that  no  Calvinist  holds  that 
God  is  the  cause  of  the  sinner's  unbelief  The  sinner 
himself  is  the  cause  of  it.  If  it  be  said,  still  God 
knows  when  he  gives  the  warrant  to  all  to  believe 
and  be  saved,  that  there  are  some  who  are  not  able  to 
avail  themselves  of  it ;  when  he  furnishes  the  right, 
that  there  are  some  who  cannot  employ  it  ;  the 
answer  is,  that  it  may  please  him,  for  wise  and  holy 
purposes,  by  extending  the  offer  of  salvation  to  such 
men,  to  test  their  unbelief,  and  so  to  expose  their 
perverse  wickedness  and  vindicate  his  justice  in  their 
condemnation.  Who  are  we,  that  we  should  venture 
to  set  bounds  to  the  procedures  of  infinite  wisdom, 
justice  and  holiness?  Why  may  we  not  conceive 
that  God  is  as  righteous  in  conveying  to  men  the  free 
offer  of  salvation  in  order  to  evince  to  themselves  and 
to  the  universe  their  wickedness  in  disbelieving  the 
gospel,  as  in  imposing  upon  men  his  commands  in 
order  to  illustrate  their  wickedness  in  disobeying  his 
law?  Certainly,  if  sinners  spontaneously  reject  the 
warrant  and  the  right  which  God  gives  them  to  be- 
lieve and  be  saved,  they  are  left  without  excuse  and 
will  be  speechless  in  the  great  day  of  accounts.  And 
he  would  take  bold  ground  who  would  hold  that  God 
has  no  right  to  place  sinners  in  such  circumstances, 
and  in  such  relations  to  himself,  as  to  manifest  the 
inexcusableness  of  their  wickedness. 


Objcctioi  from  Divine   Veracity.  363 

In  the  Epistle  to  the  Romans,  the  inspired  apostle 
clearly  teaches  that  the  light  of  nature,  while  insuffi- 
cient to  ground  the  knowledge  of  salvation,  is  suffi- 
cient to  render  men  without  excuse  for  their  wicked 
apostasy  from  God.  ''Because  that  which  may  be 
known  of  God  is  manifest  in  them  ;  for  God  hath 
shewed  it  unto  them.  For  the  invisible  things  of  him 
from  the  creation  of  the  world  are  clearly  seen,  being 
understood  by  the  things  that  are  made,  even  his 
eternal  power  and  Godhead  ;  so  that  they  are  without 
excuse."^  To  say  that  Paul  meant  that  the  Gentiles 
might  have  been  justified  by  obeying  this  light  of 
natural  religion  is  to  reduce  his  wdiole  argument  to 
contempt.  Their  relation  to  the  instructions  of  na- 
ture did  not  make  their  justification  possible,  but 
proved  their  condemnation  to  be  just.  It  might  be 
asked,  where  is  God's  sincerity  in  furnishing  light  to 
those  who,  he  knows,  cannot  avail  themselves  of  it 
in  consequence  of  sin  ?  To  such  a  questioner  it 
might  be  thundered,  Who  art  thou  that  repliest 
against  God? 

The  same  line  of  remark  applies  to  the  relation  of 
the  moral  law  to  those  who  have  not  the  gospel. 
When  God,  by  the  requirements  and  admonitions  of 
conscience,  illuminated  and  re-enforced  by  the  com- 
mon operations  of  his  Spirit,  convinces  them  of  the 
duty  and  the  necessity  resting  upon  them  to  obey  it, 
he  cannot  intend  by  these  means  to  assure  them  of 
the  hope  of  salvation  on  the  ground  of  a  legal  right- 
eousness. He  knows  that  by  the  deeds  of  the  law 
they  cannot  be  justified.  To  what  end,  then,  are 
these  instrumentalities  employed,  if  not  to  leave  the 
^  Ch.  i.  19,  20. 

364     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

wicked  transgressors  of  the  law  without  excuse,  and 
to  vindicate  the  divine  justice  in  their  condemnation? 
*'For  when  the  Gentiles,  which  have  not  the  law 
[that  is,  the  law  as  written  in  the  Scriptures]  do  by 
nature  the  things  contained  in  the  law,  these  having 
not  the  law  are  a  law  unto  themselves  :  which  shew 
the  work  of  the  law  written  in  their  hearts,  their  con- 
science also  bearing  witness,  and  their  thoughts  the 
meanwhile  accusing,  or  else  excusing,  one  another." 
And  of  those  who,  having  not  the  written  law,  violate 
this  natural  law  embodied  in  the  conscience,  it  is  ex- 
pressly declared  that  they  shall  perish.  "As  many 
as  have  sinned  without  law  shall  perish  without  law." 
Is  God  insincere  in  addressing  the  instructions,  expos- 
tulations and  warnings  of  the  law  to  those  who  can- 
not obey  it  in  their  natural  strength,  and  to  whom  he 
has  communicated  no  knowledge  of  that  redemptive 
scheme  through  the  provisions  of  which  alone  they 
can  escape  condemnation,  and  present  to  him  accept- 
able obedience? 

Is  God  insincere  in  pressing  the  demands  of  his  law 
upon  any  man,  unevangelized  or  evangelized,  al- 
though he  knows  that  the  result  will  be  the  excite- 
ment of  contradictoriness  and  opposition  instead  of 
obedience  to  those  requirements,  and  although  he 
knows  that  that  result  cannot  be  avoided  except  in 
consequence  of  the  impartation  of  his  saving  grace? 

These  considerations  go  to  show  that  God,  in  in- 
numerable instances,  pours  the  light  of  nature  and  of 
the  moral  law  upon  ungodly  men  for  the  purpose  of 
convicting  them  of  sin  and  of  rendering  them  inex- 
cusable. And,  if  he  is  pleased  to  adopt  this  course 
towards  the  despisers  of  his  law,  why  should  one  be 

Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  365 

censured  for  attributing  insincerity  to  him  in  pursuing 
a  similar  course  towards  the  despisers  of  his  grace? 
In  neither  case  is  he^bound  to  restore  that  ability  to 
obey  him  which  men  have  forfeited  by  their  own  sin; 
and  if  it  be  one  of  the  ends  of  that  moral  government 
which  he  is  now  conducting  to  furnish  a  thorough- 
going and  exhaustive  exposition  of  the  desperate  evil 
of  sin,  one,  basing  his  judgment  upon  merely  rational 
grounds,  might  without  rashness  conclude  that  such 
an  end  would  be  most  effectually  compassed  by  per- 
mitting the  wicked  to  exhibit  malignant  enmity  to 
his  gospel  as  well  as  to  his  law.  That  could  only  be 
done  by  bringing  them  into  contact  with  the  gospel 
offer.  If  they  reject  that  offer,  made  to  every  man 
who  is  willing  to  receive  it,  the  native  opposition  of 
their  hearts  to  God  is  most  clearly  brought  to  the 
surface  and  exposed.  To  the  contemners  of  the  rich 
and  unmerited  blessings  freely  and  graciously  offered 
in  the  gospel,  God  may  righteously  utter  the  awful 
words:  '^Behold,  ye  despisers,  and  wonder  and  per- 
ish." It  is  very  certain  that  God  could,  if  he 
pleased,  constrain  every  man  who  hears  the  gospel 
offer  to  accept  it.  The  fact  that  he  does  not,  what- 
ever other  inferences  it  may  warrant,  legitimates 
this  :  that  it  is  his  purpose  to  uncover  and  bring  into 
light  the  malignant  and  inexcusable  character  of  sin. 
Unbelief  in  Christ  is  the  climax  of  wickedness.  In 
the  great  day,  every  mouth  will  be  stopped ;  but 
especially  will  they  be  struck  dumb  who  have  de- 
spised alike  the  grace  of  the  gospel,  and  the  justice 
of  the  law. 

If,   therefore,  God  gives  to  every  man  who  hears 
the  gospel  a  warrant  and  right  to  embrace  the  salva- 

366     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Amninianisni. 

tion  it  offers,  he  is  sincere  in  extending  the  offer  to 
all,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  he  does  not  confer 
upon  all  the  grace  which  effectuates  its  reception. 
Those  who  reject  it  will  not  be  able  to  excuse  them- 
selves by  the  plea  of  God's  insincerity. 

It  deserves  also  to  be  noticed,  as  some  divines  have 
shown,  that  faith  is  required,  on  grounds  of  justice,  as 
the  first  duty  of  the  sinner  in  order  that  he  make 
reparation  for  the  injury  done  to  the  divine  veracity 
in  the  first  instance  of  man's  transgression.  God  dis- 
tinctly testified  to  man  in  innocence,  "In  the  day 
thou  eatest  thereof"  (that  is,  of  the  fruit  of  the  tree 
of  knowledge  of  good  and  evil)  "thou  shalt  surely 
die."  That  divine  testimony  the  Devil  as  distinctly 
denied.  Man  believed  the  Devil  and  disbelieved  God. 
The  divine  word  was  discredited  by  unbelief  On  the 
supposition,  therefore,  that  man  is  to  be  restored  to 
the  favor  of  God,  it  is  righteous,  it  is  meet  and  proper, 
that  a  naked  faith  in  the  simple  testimony  of  God 
should  be  exacted  from  him  as  the  first  step  to  his 
recovery.  The  requirement  of  faith  from  the  sinner 
is,  consequently,  not  merely  a  measure  of  mercy  to 
him,  but  of  justice  to  God.  The  atonement  of  Christ, 
proposed  to  the  sinner's  acceptance  as  the  means  of 
his  reconciliation  to  God,  is  the  free  product  of  grace, 
and  it  is  exuberant  grace  that,  in  the  first  instance, 
nothing  but  faith  in  the  provision  of  redemption 
should  be  demanded  of  the  sinner;  but  there  is  a  rea- 
son for  the  exaction  of  faith  in  the  divine  testimony 
to  this  plan  of  recovery,  which  is  deeply  seated  in 
justice  and  law.  The  salvation  of  the  guilty  springs 
from  the  free  and  unmerited  mercy  of  God,  but  it  is 
effected  in  such  a  way,  even  in  regard  to  its  experi- 

Objection  from  Divine   Veracity.  367 

mental  application,  as  to  consist  with  the  divine  per- 
fections of  justice  and  truth,  and  to  honor,  vindicate 
and  establish  the  principles  of  God's  moral  govern- 
ment.    The  Fall  began  in  unbelief,  and  the  sinner's 
restoration  fitly  begins   with    faith.     The  insult   of-  1 
fered   to  the  divine  word   must  be  obliterated  by  a  1 
simple  and  unquestioning  reliance  upon    it.     From 
God's  side,  the  requirement  of  faith  on  the  part  of  the 
sinner  in  order  to  his  salvation  is  a  demand  of  justice, 
and  in  that  aspect  of  it  may  as  fairly  be  laid  upon  the 
spiritually  disabled  sinner  as  any  precept  to  obey  the 
moral  law.      In  this  view  of  the  case,  it  is  clear,  that 
it   no   more   involves  a  departure   from   sincerity  for 
God  to  require  faith  in  Christ  from  the  sinner  because 
he  cannot,  in  his  own  strength,  exercise  it,  than  for 
God  to  demand  obedience  to  his  law  from  the  sinner, 
because  he  cannot,  in  his  own  strength,  perform  it. 
God  sincerely  requires  obedience  to  his  law  from  the\ 
sinner,  althouo:h  he  knows  that  without  his  efficacious 
grace  that  obedience  cannot  be  rendered,  and  although/ 
he  has  not  purposed  to  impart  that  grace  to  determinel 
him  to  its  performance.      In  the  same  manner,  Godf 
sincerely  requires  from  the  sinner  faith  in  the  gospel,  i 
although  he  knows  that  without  his  efficacious  grace! 
he  cannot  exercise  it,  and  although  he  has  not  pur-/ 
posed   to  bestow  that  grace  to  determine  him  to  its 

Men  argue  as  if  the  exhortation  to  the  sinner  to 
believe  in  Christ  were  simply  an  invitation  to  him  to 
partake  of  blessings  freely  tendered  by  mercy.  TJiat 
it  certainly  is,  but  only  that  it  certainly  is  not.  It  is 
forgotten  that  it  imposes  an  obligation  to  the  dis- 
charge of  an  imperative  duty.     The  whole  race  lies 

368      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

under  the  fearful  guilt  of  having  believed  the  Devil 
and  given  God  the  lie.  Those  who  live  under  the 
gospel  are  bound  to  wipe  out  this  foul  dishonor  done 
to  the  divine  veracity.  The  Calvinist  could  only  be 
convicted  of  representing  God  as  insincere  in  requir- 
ing this  reparation  to  his  injured  honor,  by  its  being 
shown  to  be  his  doctrine  that  God  himself  influenced 
men  to  prefer  the  testimony  of  Satan  to  his  own;  and 
that  the  Calvinist  denies. 

Let  it  be  borne  in  mind,  also,  that  while,  as  we  have 
seen,  God,  in  extending  the  offer  of  the  gospel  to  all 
men,  furnishes  an  ample  warrant  to  all  to  believe  in 
Christ  and  to  be  saved,  he  is  not  bound  by  any  of  his 
perfections  to  give  to  all  the  disposition  to  avail 
tliemselves  of  the  warrant.  They  have  no  claim  upon 
him.  They  brought  themselves  into  their  condition 
of  sin  and  inability,  and,  consequently,  they  can  have 
no  ground  for  complaining  against  God  for  not  re- 
moving their  indisposition  to  comply  with  his  com- 
mand and  invitation  to  believe  in  Christ. 

But  while  it  is  true  that  God  is  not  bound  to  give 
to  all  who  hear  the  gospel  a  disposition  to  accept  its 
invitations,  it  is  also  true  that  he  debars  no  man  from 
availing  himself  of  them  and  receiving  salvation 
through  Christ.  So  far  as  he  is  concerned,  all  legal 
obstacles  have  been  removed  which  barred  the  access 
of  sinners  to  his  pardoning  mercy.  The  road  has 
been  opened  to  his  favor,  by  means  of  the  finished 
work  of  an  atoning  Saviour.  All  who  will  to  come 
may  come.  No  one  who  comes  is  thrust  back.  The 
only  barriers  between  sinners  and  salvation  are  those  I 
which  are  raised  by  themselves.  Go:l  erects  none. 
His  decree,  executed    by    his   efficacious   grace,  con 


Objection  from  Divine   Veracity.  369 

strains  some  to  come;  but  his  decree  prevents  none 
from  coming.  He  decrees  to  condemn  men  for  not 
coming,  not  to  debar  them  from  coming.  He  is 
therfore  sincere  in  opening  the  door  of  mercy  to  all 
who  please  to  enter  it.  ^ 

It  must  further  be  observed  that  God  exercises  nov 
positive  influence  upon  the  minds  of  any  sinners  toj 
deter  them  from  coming  to  Christ  for  salvation.  He' 
creates  no  indisposition  in  them  to  come.  If  he  did, 
there  would  be  some  color  of  truth  in  the  charge  that 
he  deals  insincerely  with  them  in  making  the  offer  of 
salvation.  It  is  common  to  represent  the  Calvinist  as 
holding  that  God  chains  the  sinner  to  a  stake,  and 
then  invites  him  to  come  to  provisions  which  are 
placed  beyond  his  reach.  The  Calvinist  teaches  no 
such  doctrine.  He  contends  that  the  sinner  chains 
himself,  and  that  he  prefers  his  chains  to  the  provis- 
ions of  redemption  which  are  tendered  him.  He 
forges  his  own  chain  and  then  hugs  it.  The  true 
doctrine  is  that  the  bread  and  the  water  of  life  are  of- 
fered to  all.  None,  by  nature,  hunger  for  the  bread  ; 
none  thirst  for  the  water.  To  some  God  pleases  to 
impart  the  hunger  and  the  thirst  which  impel  them 
to  come  and  partake.  Others  he  leaves  under  the  in- 
fluence of  a  distaste  for  these  provisions  of  salva- 
tion— a  distaste  not  implanted  by  him,  but  engendered 
by  their  own  voluntary  sin.  He  infuses  into  none  a 
disrelish  for  the  bread  and  w^ater  of  life.  If  they  de- 
sired to  partake  of  them  they  might ;  for  God  invites 
them,  and  therefore  authorizes  them,  to  come  and  en- 
joy them.  Is  God  insincere  in  this  procedure  because 
they  exclude  themselves  from  these  blessings?  It  is 
shifting  the  ground  of  the  objection  to  say,  that  God 

370     Calvinis7?i  and  Evangelical  Arminiamsm. 

knows,  when  lie  extends  the  invitation,  that  they  are, 
without  his  grace,  unable  to  accept  it.  That  diffi- 
culty has  already  been  met.  What  is  now  insisted 
upon  is,  that  God  does  not  infuse  the  inability.  It  is 
self-engendered.  In  the  parable  of  the  Great  Supper 
our  Lord  illustrates  the  invitation  which  God  extends 
to  all  who  hear  the  gospel  to  come  and  partake  of 
its  saving  provisions.  All  who  were  invited  to  the 
Supper  refused  to  come.  The  IMaster  of  the  feast 
constrained  some  to  come.  Did  this  discrimination 
prove  him  insincere  in  inviting  the  others?  Certainly 
not.  Their  own  unwillingness  was  the  cause  of  their 
refusal.  He  could  only  have  been  insincere  on  the 
supposition  that  he  so  influenced  them  as  to  render 
them  unwilling.  In  like  manner,  the  refusal  of  sin- 
=  ners  to  accept  the  gospel  offer  is  caused  by  their  own 
I  unwillingness ;  nor  can  God  be  charged  with  insin- 
1  cerity,  except  upon  the  supposition  that  their  unwil- 
lingness is  produced  by  his  agency.  That  supposition 
forms  no  part  of  the  Calvinistic  doctrine.  Any  state- 
ment to  the  contrary  is  a  misrepresentation. 

But  it  will  be  urged  :  Where,  after  all,  is  the  sin- 
cerity of  invitations  addressed  to  the  dead;  of  light- 
ing up  a  charnel-house  as  a  banqueting  hall,  spreading 
in  it  a  feast  of  viands,  and  exhorting  the  mouldering 
corpses  to  rise  and  partake  of  the  sumptuous  repast  ? 
Unless  life  be  infused  into  them  it  is  a  grim  and 
solemn  mockery  to  exhort  them  to  attempt  the  func- 
tions of  the  living.  Besides  the  answer  which  has 
already  been  furnished  to  this  objection,  the  following 
considerations  are  submitted  : 

First,  sinners  are  not  in  such  a  sense  dead  as  to  be 
wholly  beyond   the  reach  of  the  gospel  offer.     The 


Objection  from  Divine   Veracity.  371 

effect  of  the  fall  was  the  total  destruction  of  spiritual 
life.  That  was  totally  eliminated  from  every  faculty 
of  the  soul.  Holiness  was  not  an  essential  element, 
but  a  separable  quality,  of  man's  original  constitution. 
It  is  a  sufficient  proof  of  that  position  that  all  evan- 
gelical theologians  admit  the  possibility  of  its  restora- 
tion after  having  been  lost.  The  faculties  which 
were  essential  to  the  very  make  and  constitution  of 
man  survived  the  disaster  of  the  fall  ;  otherwise  his 
being  would  have  been  extinguished.  Although, 
therefore,  the  principle  of  spiritual  life  no  longer 
exists  until  restored  by  supernatural  grace,  the  intel- 
lect, the  feelings,  the  will,  considered  as  to  its  spon- 
taneity at  least,  and  the  conscience  as  a  moral  faculty, 
still  continue  their  functions  in  the  natural  sphere. 
In  contact  with  these  powers  God  brings  the  instruc- 
tions, invitations  and  threatenings  of  the  gospel. 
The  gospel  does  not  speak  to  stocks  and  stones ;  it 
addresses  beings  who  are  intelligent,  emotional,  vol- 
untary and  moral.  They  are  capable  of  apprehending 
its  sTatement  that  they  are  spiritually  dead,  and  its 
gracious  offer  to  them  of  the  boon  of  everlasting  life. 
They  can  understand  the  proposition  that  God  has 
through  Christ  provided  redemption  for  sinners,  and 
that  they  are  freely  invited  to  accept  it.  They  are 
susceptible  of  some  feeling  of  desire  to  obtain  it,  and 
of  some  sense  of  obligation  to  seek  it. 

Secondly,  with  the  operation  of  these  natural 
faculties  in  the  moral  sphere  the  Holy  Spirit  concurs, 
in  the  discharge  of  what  has  been  called  his  law-work. 
He  illuminates  the  understanding,  stimulates  the 
affections,  presses  upon  the  conscience  the  sanctions 
of  the   moral  law,  and  directs  the  attention  of  the 

372      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Armijtianism. 

sinner  to  the  provisions  of  redeeming-  mercy  which 
are  proposed  to  his  acceptance  in  the  gospel. 

Thirdly,  is  there  anything  which  the  unconverted 
sinner  can  will  to  do?  This  is  an  important  ques- 
tion. It  is  very  certain  that  he  can  do  nothing  in  the 
spiritural  sphere,  for  the  reason  that  he  is  spiritually 
dead.  He  cannot  convert  himself,  for  how  can  a  dead 
man  restore  himself  to  life?  He  cannot  repent,  he 
cannot  believe  in  Christ,  for  repentance  and  faith  sup- 
pose the  possession  of  spiritual  life.  This  spiritual 
inability  is  itself  sin,  and  as  has  been  already  shown 
cannot  be  held  to  absolve  the  sinner  from  the  obliofa- 
tion  to  obey  God's  requirements  either  purely  legal  or 
evangelical,  unless  the  preposterous  ground  is  assumed 
that  sin  can  excuse  sin.  The  spiritual  inability  of  the 
sinner  is  no  reason  why  God  may  not  consistently 
either  with  justice  or  goodness  or  veracity  command 
and  invite  him  to  repent  and  believe.  The  gravity  of 
the  distinction  between  original  and  penal  inability 
can  scarcely  be  overestimated,  although  it  is  one 
which  is  but  too  seldom  emphasized.  It  was  main- 
tained both  by  Augustin  and  Calvin.  The  latter 
says:  "For  since  he  [Augustin]  had  said  'that  no 
ground  of  blameworthiness  could  be  discovered  when 
nature  or  necessity  governs'  he  cautions  us  that  this 
does  not  hold  except  in  regard  to  a  nature  sound 
and  in  its  integrity;  that  men  are  not  subject  to 
necessity  but  as  the  first  man  contracted  it  for  tliem 
by  his  voluntary  fault.  *To  us,'  says  he,  'nature  is 
made  a  punishment,  and  what  was  the  just  punish- 
ment of  the  first  man  is  nature  to  us.  Since,  there- 
fore, necessity  is  the  punishment  of  sin,  the  sins 
which  thence  arise  are  justly  censured,  and  the  blame 

Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  373 

of  them  is  deservedly  imputed  to  men,  because  the 
origin  is  voluntary.'  "  ' 

Dr.  Thornwell  enforces  the  distinction  in  these 
impressive  words:  "We  must  distinguish  between 
inability  as  original  and  inability  as  penal.  Moral 
power  is  nothing  more  nor  less  than  holy  habitudes 
and  dispositions ;  it  is  the  perception  of  the  beauty, 
and  the  response  of  the  heart  to  the  excellence  and 
glory,  of  God,  and  the  consequent  subjection  of  the 
will  to  the  law  of  holy  love.  Spiritual  perception, 
spiritual  delight,  spiritual  choice,  these  and  these 
alone  constitute  ability  to  good.  Now,  if  we  could 
conceive  that  God  had  made  a  creature  destitute  of 
these  habits,  if  we  could  conceive  that  he  came  from 
the  hands  of  the  Creator  in  the  same  moral  condition 
in  which  our  race  is  now  born,  it  is  impossible  to 
vindicate  the  obligation  of  such  a  creature  to  holiness 
upon  any  principle  of  justice.  It  is  idle  to  say  that 
his  inability  is  but  the  intensity  of  his  sin,  and  the 
more  helpless  the  more  wicked.  His  inability  is  the 
result  of  his  constitution ;  it  belongs  to  his  very 
nature  as  a  creature,  and  he  is  no  more  responsible 
for  such  defects  tjian  a  lame  man  is  responsible  for 
his  hobbling  gait,  or  a  blind  man  for  his  incom- 
petency to  distinguish  colors.  He  is  what  God  made 
him  ;  he  answers  to  the  idea  of  his  being,  and  is  no 
more  blameworthy  for  the  deformed  condition  of  his 
soul  than  a  camel  for  the  deformity  of  its  back.  The 
principle  is  intuitively  evident  that  no  creature  can 
be  required  to  transcend  its  powers.  Ability  con- 
ditions responsibility.     An  original  inability,  natural 

^  De  Servit.  et  Liberal.  Htim.  Arbitrii,  Opp.  ed.  Atnstel.,  vol. 
viii,  p.  151. 

374     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arininianisni. 

in  the  sense  that  it  enters  into  the  notion  of  the 
creatnre  as  such,  completely  obliterates  all  moral 
distinctions  with  reference  to  the  acts  and  habits 
embraced  within  its  sphere.  .    .    . 

"  But  there  is  another,  a  penal  inability.  It  is  that 
which  man  has  superinduced  by  his  own  voluntary 
transgression.  He  was  naturally  able — that  is,  created 
with  all  the  habitudes  and  dispositions  which  were 
involved  in  the  loving  choice  of  the  good.  Rectitude 
w^as  infused  into  his  nature;  it  entered  into  the  idea 
of  his  being;  he  was  fully  competent  for  every  exac- 
tion of  the  law.  He  chooses  sin,  and  by  that  very 
act  of  choice  impregnates  his  nature  with  contrary 
habits  and  dispositions.  His  moral  agency  continues 
unimpaired  through  all  his  subsequent  existence.  He 
becomes  a  slave  to  sin,  but  his  impotence,  hopeless 
and  ruinous  as  it  is,  results  from  his  own  free  choice. 
In  the  loss  of  habits  he  loses  all  real  power  for  good; 
he  becomes  competent  for  nothing  but  sin;  but  he  is 
held  responsible  for  the  nature  which  God  gave  him, 
and  the  law  which  constitutes  its  eternal  norm  ac- 
cording to  the  divine  idea  and  the  spontaneous  dic- 
tates of  his  own  reason  can  never  cease  to  be  the 
standard  of  his  beino:  and  life.  All  his  descendants 
were  in  him  when  he  sinned  and  fell.  His  act  was 
legally  theirs,  and  that  depravity  which  he  infused 
into  his  own  nature  in  the  place  of  original  righteous- 
ness has  become  their  inheritance.  They  stand, 
therefore,  from  the  first  moment  of  their  being  in  the 
same  relation  to  the  law  which  he  occupied  at  his  fall. 
Their  impotence  is  properly  their  own.  Here  is  not 
the  place  to  show  how  this  can  be.  I  am  only  show- 
ing that  there  is  a  marked  distinction  between  the 

Objection  from  Divine   Veracity.  375 

inability  which  begins  with  the  nature  of  a  being  and 
the  inability  which  it  brings  npon  itself  by  sin;  that 
in  the  one  case  responsibility  is  measured  by  the  ex- 
tent of  the  actual  power  possessed,  in  the  other,  by 
the  extent  of  the  power  originally  imparted.  No 
subject  by  becoming  a  traitor  can  forfeit  the  obliga- 
tion to  allegiance;  no  man  can  escape  from  the  law 
b\'  voluntary  opposition  to  law.  The  more  helpless 
a  creature  becomes  in  this  aspect  of  the  case,  the 
more  wicked  ;  the  more  he  recedes  from  the  divine 
idea,  from  the  true  norm  of  his  being,  the  more  guilty 
and  the  more  miserable.  To  creatures  in  a  state  of 
apostasy  actual  ability  is  not,  therefore,  the  measure 
of  obligation.  They  cannot  excuse  themselves  under 
the  plea  of  impotency  when  that  very  impotence  is 
the  thing  charged  upon  them."  ^ 

This  subject  has  been  again  adverted  to  for  the 
purpose,  in  the  first  place,  of  showing  that  as  the 
spiritual  inability  of  the  sinner  cannot  absolve  him 
from  the  obligation  to  pay  obedience  to  any  require- 
ment God  may  please  to  make,  there  is  no  insincerity 
involved  in  the  extension  of  the  gospel  offer  occasioned 
by  the  divine  knowledge  of  the  sinner's  incompetency 
to  embrace  it;  and,  in  the  second  place,  of  guarding 
against  any  misconception  of  the  views  about  to  be 
presented  in  regard  to  that  measure  of  ability  which 
the  unregenerate  sinner  possesses  in  the  merely  nat- 
ural sphere. 

The  question  recurring,  Can  the  unconverted  sinner 
will  to  do  anything  in  regard  to  the  offer  of  salvation 
conveyed  in  the  gospel,  I  answer: 

He  can  will,  or  not  will,  to  place  his  understanding 

^  Coll.  Wrllings,  vol.  i.  pp.  395-39S- 

376     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisjn, 

in  such  relation  to  the  evidence  which  God  proposes 
for  his  consideration,  to  the  facts  and  teachings,  the 
invitations,  remonstrances  and  warnings  of  the  gos- 
pel, as  is  suited  to  impress  it  with  the  duty,  the  policy, 
the  importance  of  paying  attention  to  ihe  great  con- 
cern of  personal  salvation. 

He  can  will,  or  not  will,  to  attend  upon  the  ordi- 
nances of  God's  house,  and  listen  to  the  preaching  of 
the  divine  Word,  and  thus  place  himself  in  the  way 
along  which  Jesus  as  a  Saviour  is  passing. 

He  can  will,  or  not  will,  to  read  the  Scriptures,  and 
so  subject  his  mind  to  the  influences  which  they  are 
suited   to  exert. 

What  hinders  the  unreoenerate  man  from  doinof 
these  things?  What  hinders  him  from  hearing  the 
preacher  of  the  gospel  any  more  than  listening  to  any 
public  speaker?  What  hinders  him  from  repairing  to 
the  sanctuary  any  more  than  going  to  any  other  build- 
ing? What  hinders  him  from  reading  the  Bible  any 
more  than  perusing  any  other  book?  To  do  these 
things  he  is  not  dependent  upon  supernatural  grace. 
He  may  do  them  in  the  exercise  of  his  natural  will. 
Now,  on  tlie  supposition  that  he  avails  himself,  as  he 
is  competent  to  do,  of  these  means  which  God  fur- 
nishes him  in  the  natural  sphere,  it  is  perfectly  pos- 
sible for  him  to  be  impressed  with  the  statements  of 
the  gospel  concerning  his  lost  and  ruined  condition  as 
a  sinner,  and  the  redemption  effected  by  Christ,  and 
the  expediency  and  necessity  of  complying  with  the 
calls  of  mercy.  It  is  also  conceivable  that  he  should 
be  convinced  of  his  utter  inability  to  accept  the  offer 
of  the  gospel  and  rely  upon  Christ  for  salvation.  ^ 
^  Owen,   IVorks,  vol.  iii.  p.  229,  fF.  Goold's  EJd. 

Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  2)77 

In  this  condition  of  mind,  he  can  will,  or  not  will, 
to  cry  to  God  for  help.  What  would  hinder  him 
from  determining,  in  view  of  his  inability  to  meet  the 
exigency,  to  pray  that  God  would  enable  him  to  come 
to  Christ  and  accept  the  offered  salvation?  Men  sin- 
cerely appeal  for  help  only  when  they  cannot  help 
themselves.  The  very  conviction  of  impotence  would 
be  the  strongest  motive  to  prayer.  Now,  the  throne 
of  grace  is  accessible  to  all.  God  debars  no  sincere 
suppliant  from  approaching  it.  He  invites  the  dis- 
tressed to  call  upon  him  and  promises  that  he  will 
answer  their  cry. 

These  things,  then,  the  unconverted  sinner  can  do 
in  the  natural  sphere  :  he  can  hear  the  preaching  of 
the  gospel,  he  can  read  the  Scriptures,  he  can  call  on 
God  for  delivering  grace.  In  that  charnel-house  in 
which  the  objector  paints  the  gospel  feast  as  spread — 
yea,  in  the  sepulchre  in  which  his  spiritual  corpse  is 
lying,  he  can,  in  the  exercise  of  his  natural  powers, 
apprehend  the  invitation  to  partake  of  the  blessings 
of  redemption  and  cry  to  God  for  ability  to  embrace 
it.  His  prayers  would  have  no  merit:  they  would,  on 
the  contrary,  be  the  expression  of  impotence,  of  self- 
despair  and  of  utter  dependence  on  God. 

If,  therefore,  the  unregenerate  sinner  may  do  these 
things,  what  ground  is  there  for  imputing  insincerity 
to  God  in  extending  to  him  the  gospel  offer  and  urg- 
ing him  to  accept  it?  If  he  will  not  do  what  he  is 
able  to  do,  with  what  face  can  he  find  fault  with  God 
for  not  doing  for  him  what  he  is  not  able  to  do? 
What  excuse  will  he  render  in  the  day  of  final  ac- 
counts for  his  wilful  neolect  of  the  means  which  were 
placed  in  his  power?     Should  the  Judge  ask  him,  in 

.  37^     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminiamsm. 

that  day:  Didst  thou  attend  the  sanctuary  and  hearken 
to  the  preaching  of  the  gospel?  Didst  thou  seriously 
read  the  Scriptures?  Didst  thou  call  on  God  to  save 
thee?  Didst  thou  not  know  that  thou  couldst  have 
done  these  things?  he  will  be  speechless;  for  his  in- 
ner consciousness  will  attest  the  justice  of  the  awful 
interrogatories,  and  close  his  lips  to  self-justification/ 
There  is  but  one  other  consideration  which  I  will 
submit  with  reference  to  the  special  aspect  of  the  sub- 
ject before  us.  Men  assert  for  themselves  the  power 
of  free-will.  They  claim  the  ability  to  decide  the 
jquestion  of  accepting  the  offer  of  salvation  by  the  de- 
1  termination  of  their  own  wills.  This  they  arrogate 
for  themselves  in  the  face  of  the  clear  and  unmistak- 
able testimony  of  God's  Word  to.  the  contrary.  The 
Scriptures  inform  them  that  they  are  dead  in  tres- 
passes and  sins,  and  that  they  can  see  the  kingdom 
of  God  only  by  virtue  of  a  new  and  supernatural 
birth,  involving  the  infusion  of  spiritual  life,  the  re- 
newal of  their  wills,  and  ability  to  embrace  Christ  as 
he  is  offered  in  the  gospel.  This  they  presumptuously 
deny,  and  boldly  take  the  ground  that  God  himself 
caunot  determine  the  human  will  by  his  efficacious 
grace,  without  invading  the  rights  and  prerogatives 
which  belong  to  its  essential  constitution.  They 
must  themselves  decide  the  question  of  embracing 
the  offer  of  salvation  by  the  undetermined  election  of 
their  own  wills.  Assisted  by  grace  they  may  be,  but 
controlled  by  grace  they  cannot  and  must  not  be. 
\  The  sovereignty  of  man's  free  will  must  be  preserved. 

^  A  similar  line  of  argument,  very  ably  presented  by  the  Rev. 
S.  G.  Winchester,  may  be  found  in  Vol.  i.  of  the  Tracts  issued  by 
ti;e  Presbyterian  Board  of  Publication,  Philadelphia. 

Objection  from  Divine   Veracity,  2)79 

When,  accordingly,  God  makes  to  them  a  tender  of 
salvation  and  calls  upon  them  to  accept  it,  without 
imparting  to  them  the  efficacious,  determining,  con- 
straining grace  which  they  deliberately  declare  their 
unwillingness  to  receive,  what  does  he  but  meet  them 
on  their  own  ground  ?  Did  he  not  offer  them  sal- 
vation he  would,  according  to  their  own  view,  deal 
with  them  unjustly.  Did  he  bestow  upon  them  con- 
straining grace,  he  would,  according  to  their  own 
view,  contradict  the  constitution  he  imparted  to  them. 
Very  well;  God  treats  them  precisely  as  they  demand 
he  should.  He  offers  salvation  to  their  acceptance  ; 
he  does  not  confer  upon  them  constraining  grace.  It 
is  just  what  they  would  have.  Where,  then,  is  the 
reasonableness  of  the  complaint  that  God  is  insincere, 
if  the  case  be  regarded  from  their  own  point  of  view? 

It  is  no  answer  to  this  statement  of  the  matter  that 
the  Calvinist  says,  God  knows  that  the  claim  of  the 
unconverted  sinner  to  the  possession  of  free-will  in 
spiritual  things  is  false.  God  not  only  knows  .that 
fact,  but  faithfully  ascertains  the  sinner  of  it,  urges  it 
upon  his  attention  and  exhorts  him  to  relinquish  all 
dependence  upon  himself  and  throw  himself  upon  un- 
merited and  sovereign  mercy.  This  faithful  and  kindly 
dealing  with  his  soul  the  sinner  flouts.  Is  not  God 
right  in  permitting  him  to  walk  in  the  light  of  the 
sparks  which  he  has  kindled  and  to  eat  the  fruit  of 
his  own  doings?  Is  not  God  right  in  saying  to  him, 
in  effect.  You  claim  the  power  to  decide  the  question 
of  salvation  for  yourself:  have  your  own  way  :  I  offer 
you  salvation,  I  will  not  invincibly  determine  your 
will  :  test  the  question- in  the  way  you  elect,  and  let 
the  issue  prove  whether  you  or  your  God  be  right.     It 

380     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

would  be  bold  and  arroq-aiit  to  assio^n  reasons  for 
God's  procedures,  save  in  those  cases  in  which  he  is 
pleased  to  reveal  them;  but  if  it  be  a  part  of  his  plan 
to  furnish  a  complete  exposition  of  the  principles  of 
sin  and  grace  operating  in  connection  with  each  other, 
it  would  seem  to  be  necessary  to  test  the  claim  of  an 
unregenerate  sinner  to  the  possession  of  free  will  and 
ability  in  relation  to  spiritual  things  and  those  which 
concern  the  salvation  of  the  soul.  This  is  effectually 
done  by  freely  offering  salvation  to  the  sinner,  and 
opposing  no  obstacle  to  his  receiving  it;  and  also  by 
taking  him  at  his  own  word,  dealing  with  him  on  his 
own  terms,  and  leaving  him  to  the  decision  of  his 
own  will  undetermined  by  an  irresistible  influence  of 
grace.  This  is  exactly  what  the  sinner  claims  to  be 
fair,  and  what  the  Arminian  theology  formally  de- 
mands for  him.  The  conditions  exacted  on  the 
human  side  are  fairly  supplied  on  the  divine  side. 
The  issue  is  joined,  and  the  question  awaits  settle- 
ment whether  the  will  of  a  fallen  being  possesses 
elective  ability  in  the  spiritual  sphere.  And  little  is 
risked,  when  the  opinion  is  adventured,  that  the  final 
result,  illuminated  by  the  light  of  the  great,  judicial 
day,  will  be  that  the  claim  of  a  fallen  and  unregener- 
ate being  to  possess  free  will  in  spiritual  things  will 
be  exploded  in  the  eyes  of  the  on-looking  universe. 
The  actual  trial,  which  will  have  been  had,  will  for- 
ever settle  the  case. 

Having  vindicated  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  from  the 
charge  of  inconsistency  with  the  sincerity  of  God,  I 
proceed  to  show  that  it  is  difficult  for  the  Arminian  to 
redeem  his  own  doctrine  from  the  same  reproach. 

First,   One  fails  to  see  how  an  offer  of  the  gospel 

Objection  from  Divine   I  eraa'ty.  38 1 

when  not  actually  made  can  be  said  to  be  sincerely 
made.  There  are  large  sections  of  the  world  which 
are  designated  as  heathen  for  the  very  reason  that  they 
have  no  knowledge  of  the  gospel.  To  them  the  tender 
of  the  blessings  of  redemption  is  not  communicated. 
But  the  Arminian  insists  that  as  the  atonement  of 
Christ  was  made  for  every  individual  of  the  race,  there 
is  a  corresponding  offer  of  its  benefits  to  "  every  soul 
of  man."  And  as  God  imparts  to  every  man  suffi- 
cient ability  to  embrace  the  offer,  he  is  sincere  in  ex- 
tending it  to  all.  But  the  fact  has  to  be  met  that  the 
offer  of  the  gospel  is  not  actually  communicated  to  all 
of  those  for  whom  it  is  alleged  that  redemption  was 
purchased.  Myriads  of  heathen  people  neither  know 
that  redemption  has  been  effected,  nor  that  its  benefits 
are  offered  to  them.  There  is  no  offer  of  the  gospel 
actually  made  to  masses  of  the  heathen.  To  them  it 
is  zero;  and  of  zero  nothing  can  be  predicated.  To 
say  that  an  offer  which  is  not  made  is  sincerely  made 
is  absurd.  A  sincere  offer  which  is  not  made  is  a 
sincere  nothing. 

If  it  be  said  that  the  offer  as  contained  in  the  Bible 
is  couched  in  universal  terms,  it  is  again  replied  as 
before  that  the  heathen  have  not  the  Bible,  and  there- 
fore know  nothing  of  the  offer  in  whatsoever  terms  it 
may  be  conveyed.  If  a  feast  were  spread  in  a  city, 
and  cards  of  invitation  were  issued  in  which  all  its 
inhabitants  were  invited,  and  yet  the  cards  were  sent 
only  to  some  and  the  rest  remained  in  ignorance  of 
the  fact  that  they  were  included,  how  could  it  be  said 
that  the  invitation  was  sincerely  extended  to  all?  In 
regard  to  such  an  invitation  to  all,  the  question  of 
sincerity  could  not  be  raised.  The  only  question 
would  be  as  to  the  existence  of  the  invitation. 

382     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianisnt. 

The  difficulty  reaches  farther  back  than  this.  It 
may  be  fairly  asked,  how  it  can  be  shown  that  God 
was  sincere  in  making  a  redemptive  provision  for 
those  to  whom  he  did  not  intend  by  his  providence  to 
exfend  the  offer  of  participation  in  its  benefits.  For 
it  will  be  admitted  that  God  could,  if  he  pleased,  con- 
vey the  gospel  offer  to  every  individual  of  the  race. 
This  he  does  not  please  to  do.  The  inconsistency  has 
to  be  accounted  for  between  the  allegation  that  God 
in  his  Word  declares  that  the  provision  of  redemption 
is  designed  for  every  man,  and  the  fact  that  in  his 
providence  he  does  not  extend  the  offer  of  its  bless- 
ings to  every  man.  And  the  question  must  be  pressed, 
how,  in  view  of  this  inconsistency,  God's  sincerity 
can  be  vindicated.  One  can  conjecture  no  relief  from 
this  difficulty  except  upon  the  ground  that  Christ  has 
bound  upon  the  Church  the  obligation  to  communi- 
cate the  gospel  offer  to  all  mankind.  This  is  not  true 
of  the  Old  Testament  Church,  and  while  it  is  true  of 
the  New  Testament  Church,  still  the  ability  and  the 
willingness  of  the  Church  to  comply  with  this  obliga- 
tion are  conferred  alone  by  the  grace  of  God.  As- 
suredly, the  merely  natural  inclinations  of  Christians 
would  not  impel  them  to  convey  to  the  heathen  the 
knowledge  of  the  gospel.  God's  decretive  will,  as 
indicated  in  the  measures  of  his  providence,  must, 
therefore,  be  regarded  as  implicated  in  the  fact  that 
the  gospel  is  not  actually  communicated  to  every  in- 
dividual of  the  race. 

It  does  not  relieve  the  difficulty  to  say,  that  God 
communicates  sufficient  grace  to  the  church  to  enable 
her  to  obey  the  command  of  her  Head  to  preach  the 
gospel  to  every  creature,  and  leaves  it  to  her  by  the 

Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  383 

free  election  of  her  self-determining  will  to  carry  the 
command  into  execution.  For,  in  that  case,  it  must 
be  confessed  that  God  foreknew  that  the  church 
would  fail,  to  a  great  extent,  in  yielding  obedience  to 
the  command,  and  so  conditioned  upon  her  dis- 
obedience the  fate  of  the  heathen  world.  He  de- 
signed no  other  means  for  the  communication  of  the 
gospel  to  the  heathen  than  the  agency  of  the  church, 
and  he  knew  that  that  instrumentality  would  not  be 
adequately  employed  to  accomplish  the  contemplated 
end.  The  Arminian  cannot  escape  the  difficulty  of 
adjusting,  upon  his  principles,  the  non-extension  of 
the  gospel  offer  to  large  sections  of  the  race  to  the 
sincerity  of  God.  The  Calvinist  is  not  burdened 
with  this  difficulty,  because,  in  the  first  place,  he 
does  not  hold  that  the  atonement  of  Christ  was  offered 
for  every  individual  of  mankind  ;  and  because,  in  the 
second  place,  he  holds  that  the  invitation  to  partake 
of  the  benefits  of  the  atonement  is  extended  to  all 
those  who  hear  the  gospel. 

Secondly,  The  Arminian  is  confronted  with  the 
difficulty  that,  according  to  his  doctrine,  ability  to. 
accept  the  gospel  offer  is  imparted  to  those  to  whonil 
that  offer  is  never  actually  made.  He  teaches  that 
God  has  given  to  every  man  sufficient  grace, — that  is 
to  say,  sufficient  grace  to  enable  him  to  embrace  the 
salvation  purchased  for  him  by  Christ.  The  Evan- 
gelical Arminian,  as  has  already  been  shown,  holds 
that  God  has,  through  the  merit  of  Christ,  removed 
the  guilt  of  Adam's  sin  from  the  race,  and  that  he 
has  imparted  a  degree  of  spiritual  life  to  ever)'  soul 
of  man,  or,  as  it  is  otherwise  expressed,  removed  a 
degree  of  spiritual  death   from  every  soul   of  man. 

384     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

The  result  is,  that  every  man  of  the  race  is  furnished 
b}'  supernatural  grace  with  ability  to  embrace  the 
gospel  offer  whenever  it  is  tendered  to  him.  He  is 
thus  prepared  for  its  reception.  This  divinely  im- 
parted ability  to  receive  it  must  be  regarded  as  a 
prophecy  and  a  pledge  that  it  will  be  brought  in  con- 
tact with  him;  just  as  the  divinely  given  ability  of 
the  child  to  receive  food  is  a  promise  registered  in  its 
very  make  that  the  needed  nourishment  will  be  pro- 
vided for  it.  Why  the  receptive  ability,  in  either 
case,  if  the  thing  to  be  received  were  never  intended 
to  be  brought  into  relation  to  it?  There  would  be  a 
contradiction  of  a  divine  pledge  implicitly  but  really 
stamped  upon  the  nature  of  man — one-half  of  a  divine 
arrangement,  which  supposes  and  guarantees  another 
half  as  its  complement ;  another  half  which,  how- 
ever, is  wanting.  The  heathen  are  furnished  with 
ample  ability  to  embrace  the  gospel  offer,  but  it  is 
never  brought  into  relation  to  countless  multitudes 
of  them.  It  is  fair  to  ask.  Where,  upon  such  a  sup- 
position, is  the  divine  sincerity?  It  matters  not  that 
the  heathen  may  be  unconscious  of  this  divine  gift  of 
gracious  ability  to  receive  the  gospel.  Tliat  would 
only  show  that  he  is  not  conscious  of  God's  infraction 
of  the  pledge  inlaid  in  his  being.  The  inconsistency 
is  in  the  Arminian  doctrine.  That  is  all  to  which 
attention  is  called.  God  is  represented  as  not  fulfill- 
ing an  implied,  but  real,  pledge  and  guarantee. 

In  one  or  other  of  the  following  ways  it  is  conceiv- 
able that  the  Arminian  may  attempt  to  set  aside  this 

In  the  first  place,  he  may  contend  that  evangeliza- 
tion by  Christian  missionaries  is  not  the  only  method 

Objection  from  Divhie  Veracity.  385 

by  which  the  heathen  acquire  a  knowledge  of  the 
gospel  scheme,  but  that  they  possess,  apart  from  that 
method,  a  sufficient  acquaintance  with  the  promise  of 
redemption  to  condition  their  salvation.  When  the 
objection  to  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  of  its  inconsist- 
ency with  the  divine  goodness  was  under  considera- 
tion, this  hypothesis  was  discussed  and  refuted.  Some- 
thing more  in  regard  to  it  may  now,  however,  be 

It  may  be  said  that  it  is  impossible  to  assign  a  limit 
of  time  beyond  which  the  world  in  general  ceased  to 
have  any  saving  acquaintance  with  the  provisions  of 
the  gospel ;  and  that  such  instances  as  those  of  Job 
and  Alelchisedec  would  appear  to  show  that  a  knowl- 
edge of  the  gospel  sufficient  to  save  might  be  derived 
from  the  traditions  of  the  Patriarchal  dispensation,  or 
by  immediate  revelation. 

The  cases  wliich  are  appealed  to  were  those  of  per- 
sons who  lived  in  the  Patriarchal  period  ;  and  it  is 
certainly  unwarrantable  to  make  them  analogous  to 
the  case  of  the  heathen  who  have  lived  after  the  ex- 
piration of  the  Jewish  dispensation  and  the  beginning 
of  the  Christian.  Besides,  they  are  entirely  too  extra- 
ordinary and  exceptional  to  be  pleaded  as  illustrating 
the  condition  of  the  masses  of  the  heathen  world. 
We  are  too  ignorant  concerning  the  question,  who 
Melchisedec  was,  to  employ  his  case  as  an  element  in 
this  argument;  and  it  may  well  be  asked,  What  cases, 
since  the  commencement  of  the  Christian  dispensa- 
tion, have  ever  been  discovered  among  the  heathen 
which  bore  any  resemblance  to  that  of  Job  and  his 
contemporaries?  As  Cornelius  the  Centurion  lived  in 
contact  with  the  Jews,  it  is  obvious  that  he  deriv^ed  his 

386     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

knowledge  of  the  gospel  from  them:  indeed,  that  fact 
is  expressly  mentioned  in  the  history  of  his  case. 

The  hypothesis  of  an  immediate  revelation  of  the 
plan  of  redemption  to  the  heathen  is  too  wild  and 
fanciful  to  merit  serious  refutation.  There  is  one 
consideration  which  ought  with  those  who  accept  the 
authority  of  the  Scriptures  to  be  decisive  of  this 
question.  It  is  that  Paul,  the  apostle  to  the  heathen 
nations,  plainly  intimates  in  his  epistles  to  the 
churches  gathered  out  of  them,  that  previously  to  the 
preaching  of  the  gospel  by  Christian  missionaries 
the  members  of  those  churches  were  destitute  of  any 
knowledo^e  of  the  scheme  of  salvation.  Who  can 
doubt  this  that  reads  the  description  of  the  moral 
condition  of  the  heathen,  as  given  by  him  in  the 
Bpistle  to  the  Romans?  And  in  the  Epistle  to  the 
Ephesians  he  speaks  expressly  on  the  subject.  He 
calls  upon  the  members  of  the  church  at  Ephesus  to 
remember  the  ignorant  and  hopeless  condition  in 
which  they  were  before  they  heard  the  gospel  at  his 
lips.  "Wherefore,"  says  he,  "remember,  that  ye 
being  in  the  time  past  Gentiles  in  the  flesh,  who  are 
called  uncircumcision  by  that  which  is  called  the  cir- 
cumcision in  the  flesh  made  by  hands;  that  at  that 
time  ye  were  without  Christ;  being  aliens  from  the 
commonwealth  of  Israel,  and  strangers  from  the  cov- 
enants of  promise,  having  no  hope,  and  without  God 
in  the  world."  ^  Here  he  tells  the  Ephesian  believers 
that  when  they  were  heathen  they  were  aliens  from 
the  commonwealth  of  Israel,  that  is  to  say,  that  they 
had  no  connection  with  the  church  of  God;  and  in 
consequence  of  that  fact  that  they  were  strangers  to 
'  Epb.  ii.  12,  13. 

Objection  from  Divine  Veracity.  387 

the  covenants  of  promise,  by  which  he  means  to  say 
that  they  were  ignorant  of  the  gospeL  Because  they 
were  not  in  contact  with  the  church  they  could  have 
no  knowledge  of  the  gospel.  And  because  they  were 
ignorant  of  the  gospel,  they  were,  he  goes  on  to 
argue,  without  Christ;  plainly  intimating  that  there 
can  be  no  saving  relation  to  Christ  apart  from  the 
knowledge  of  the  gospel.  Further,  because  they 
were  without  Christ,  he  declares  that  they  were  with- 
out God.  Having  in  their  heathen  condition  had  no 
saving  relation  to  Christ  they  could  have  had  no  sav- 
ing relation  to  God,  and  therefore  they  had  no  hope. 
In  this  passage  the  apostle  plainly  teaches  that  the 
heathen,  apart  from  the  evangelizing  labors  of  Christ- 
ian missionaries,  have  no  saving  knowledge  of  the 
gospel,  and  that  so  long  as  that  ignorance  continues 
their  condition  is  hopeless. 

In  the  Epistle  to  the  Romans  he  makes  a  more 
general  statement.  He  declares  that  it  is  necessary 
to  the  salvation  of  any  man,  wdiether  Jew  or  Greek, 
that  he  call  on  the  name  of  the  Lord,  and  that  no 
man  could  call  on  that  name  who  had  not  heard  it  by 
means  of  preaching.  This  plainly  intimates  that 
without  the  preaching  of  the  gospel  none  can  have 
any  saving  acquaintance  with  it.  As  the  heathen 
have  not  the  preaching  of  the  gospel,  it  follows  that 
they  have  no  knowledge  of  the  gospel. 

Other  arguments  of  a  similar  character  might  be 
derived  from  Scripture,  but  these  are  sufficient,  with 
those  who  respect  the  authority  of  the  divine  Word, 
to  refute  the  supposition  that  apart  from  the  preach- 
ing of  Christian  missionaries  the  heathen  possess  any 
knowledge  of  the  gospel  scheme. 

388     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

With  these  representations  of  the  condition  of  the 
heathen  fnrnished  in  the  New  Testament  Scriptures 
the  observation  of  modern  missionaries  concurs. 
They  meet  no  heathen  who  have  any  knowledge 
whatsoever  of  the  gospel  scheme.  And  it  is  evident 
that  the  missionary  efiforts  of  Evangelical  Arminian 
bodies  are  grounded  in  this  supposition  of  ignorance 
of  the  gospel  on  the  part  of  the  heathen  world.  It 
cannot,  in  consistency  with  their  admissions,  be  con- 
tended that  they  institute  these  efforts  in  order  to 
impart  to  the  heathen  a  clearer  knowledge  of  the 
gospel  than  they  are  presumed  already  to  possess. 
They  go  upon  the  theory  that  without  the  preaching 
of  missionaries  the  heathen  have  no  acquaintance 
with  even  the  fundamental  elements  of  the  plan  of 

If  it  be  clear  that  without  the  preaching  of  the 
gospel  de  novo  to  the  heathen  they  possess  no  knowl- 
edge of  it,  the  difficulty  remains  that,  according  to  the 
Arminian  doctrine,  God  has  given  to  masses  of  men 
an  ability  to  accept  the  offer  of  salvation,  and  at  the 
same  time  does  not  secure  the  extension  of  that  offer 
to  them.  Consequently,  the  question  in  regard  to 
the  divine  sincerity  has  not  been  answered. 

In  the  second  place,  the  Arminian,  in  order  to  meet 
the  difficulty  in  hand,  may  contend  that  the  heathen 
who  have  no  knowledge  of  the  gospel  are  saved  by 
an  indirect  application  to  them  of  the  merits  of 
Christ's  atonement.  But  the  essence  of  the  theory  of 
sufficient  grace  as  imparted  to  all  men  is,  that  all  are 
in  this  way  enabled  to  embrace  the  offer  of  salvation 
— to  repent  of  sin  and  believe  in  Christ.  What  is  the 
office   of    this    universally    imparted    ability,    if   the 

Objection  from  Divine   Veracity .  389 

mode  in  which  it  is  to  be  exerted,  the  things  npon 
which  it  is  designed  to  terminate,  are  completely  nn- 
known  by  its  possessors?  Even  were  it  supposed  that 
the  mercy  of  God  may  save  the  heathen  who  know 
not  the  gospel  through  the  indirect  and  therefore  un- 
consciously experienced  application  to  them  of  the 
benefits  of  the  atoneuient,  what  becomes  of  the  di- 
vinely given  ability  directly  and  consciously  to  receive 
those  benefits?  There  is  an  aptitude  without  the  ob- 
ject to  which  it  is  suited,  a  power  without  the  end 
which  elicits  its  exercise,  a  divine  constitution  to  the 
integrity  of  which  two  complementary  elements  are 
necessary,  but  from  which  one  of  them  is  absent.  It 
is  manifest  that  upon  this  hypothesis  no  account  can 
be  given  of  a  universally  imparted  ability  to  receive 
the  gospel  offer,  which  would  harmonize  it  with  the 
sincerity  of  God.  It  would  be  a  useless  and  therefore 
deceptive  endowment,  a  prophecy  without  fulfilment, 
a  beginning  without  a  possible  end. 

In  the  third  place,  the  Arminian  may  contend  that 
the  ability  furnished  by  grace  to  the  heathen  whoi 
have  not  the  gospel  is  designed  to  enable  them,  in 
consequence  of  the  atonement,  to  render  such  an 
obedience  to  the  moral  law,  relaxed  and  accommo- 
dated to  their  weakness,  as  will  secure  their  accept- 
ance with  God.  Had  not  this  astounding  theory 
been  formally  enunciated  and  supported,  it  might  be 
deemed  impossible  that  it  should  be  introduced  as  an 
element  into  a  Christian  theology.  But  it  is  not  a 
shadow  which  is  conjured  up.  This  doctrine,  as  al- 
ready pointed  out,  is  stated  and  maintained  by  no  less 
a  theologian  than  Richard  Watson.  ^  Indeed,  in  the 
^  Theo.  Itist.,  V.  ii,  p.  446. 

390     Calvinism-  and  Evangelical  Arminianisju. 

passage  in  which  he  treats  of  the  abih'ty  possessed  by 
the  heathen,  he  does  not  even  qnalify  his  statement 
by  snpposing  that  the  law  is  accommodated  to  their 
weak  moral  strength,  bnt  affirms  that  they  are  able  to 
obey  the  law  as  "written  on  their  hearts,"  that  is, 
"the  traditionary  law  the  equity  of  which  their  con- 
sciences attested,"  that  they  are  "capable  of  doing 
all  the  things  contained  in  the  law,"  "that  all  such 
Gentiles  as  were  thus  obedient  should  be  'justified 
in  the  day  when  God  shall  judge  the  secrets  of  men 
by  Jesus  Christ,  according  to  his  Gospel.'  "  But  let 
it  be  admitted  that  these  extraordinary  utterances 
have  reference  to  the  moral  law  as  relaxed  and  accom- 
modated to  the  moral  strength  of  the  heathen,  and 
that  the  theory  ought  to  be  viewed  as  affected  by  the 
advantage  which  such  an  admission  would  furnish 
to  it. 

It  might  easily  be  shown  that  the  hypothesis  of  a 
relaxation  of  the  moral  law  and  its  accommodation 
to  the  weak  moral  strength  of  the  sinner  is  both  un- 
scriptural  and  absurd ;  that  the  possibility  of  tlie 
justification  of  any  sinner,  either  upon  the  two-fold 
ground  of  the  merits  of  Christ  and  his  own  personal 
obedience  to  law,  or  upon  the  sole  ground  of  his  own 
personal  obedience,  is  contradicted  alike  by  the 
explicit  testimony  of  Scripture,  the  creeds  of  all 
Protestant  Churches  and  the  symbolical  articles  of 
Evangelical  Arminian  bodies  ;  that  the  doctrine  of 
justification  by  faith  alone,  as  set  forth  so  clearly  in 
the  Word  of  God,  bears  upon  the  whole  race  of  man, 
upon  the  heathen  as  well  as  upon  those  who  possess 
a  written  revelation, — upon  all  these  grounds  the 
theory  under  consideration  could,  without  difficulty, 

Objection  froin  Divine  J^eracity.  391 

be  convicted  of  being  destitute  of*  truth.  But  the 
point  which  is  now  emphasized  is,  that  it  represents 
God  as  violating  his  own  veracity.  For,  if  anything 
is  susceptible  of  proof  it  is  that  in  his  Word  he  de- 
clares that  by  the  works  of  the  law  shall  no  flesh  be 
justified.  This  theory  by  asserting  that  he  imparts 
to  some  flesh,  namely  the  heathen,  ability  to  obey 
the  law  in  order  to  their  justification,  represents  him 
as  contradicting  the  plainest  statements  of  his  Word. 
No  flesh,  no  man  living,  shall  be  justified  by  the 
deeds  of  the  law  :  some  flesh,  some  men  living,. may 
be  justified  by  the  deeds  of  the  law — this  is  the  flat 
contradiction  in  w^iich  this  extraordinary  theory  in- 
volves the  God  of  truth.  The  alternatives  are,  either 
he  is  insincere  in  the  teachings  of  his  Word,  or  he  is 
insincere  in  his  dealings  with  the  heathen. 

It  has  thus  been  shown  that  the  difficulty  that 
ability  to  accept  the  gospel  offer  is  imparted  to  some 
to  whom  that  offer  is  not  actually  made,  a  diflSculty 
growing  directly  from  the  doctrine  of  the  Arminian 
and  implicating  him  in  the  charge  of  representing 
God  as  insincere,  is  not  met  and  removed  by  any  of 
the  methods  by  which  he  n;ay  seek  to  accomplish 
that  end.  To  say  that  God  gives  ability  to  all  the 
heathen  to  attain  salvation  is  to  say,  in  relation  to 
multitudes  of  them,  that  by  his  grace  he  enables 
them  to  do  what  by  his  providence  he  affords  them  no 
opportunitx'  of  doing. 

Thirdly,  The  Arminian  charges  the  Calvinistic  doc- 
trine as  making  God  insincere  in  extending  the  gospel 
offer  to  non-elect  men;  but  the  Arminian  doctrine  is 
chargeable  with  making  God  insincere  in  extending 
that  offer  to  any  man.     It  has  really  the  same  diffi- 

392     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

culty  to  carry  in  relation  to  the  extension  of  the  offer 
to  every  man,  which  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  has  to 
bear  with  reference  to  its  extension  to  some  men. 
The  objection  urged  against  the  Calvinistic  doctrine 
is  two- fold:  in  the  first  place,  that  God  necessitated 
the  inability  of  the  sinner,  and  in  the  second  place, 
that  he  makes  to  him  an  offer  of  salvation  which,  in 
consequence  of  that  inability,  he  knows  the  sinner 
cannot  accept.  The  first  part  of  this  objection  is  not 
pertinent.  The  Calvinistic  doctrine  denies  that  God 
necessitated  the  sinner's  inability.  The  second  part 
is  pertinent.  The  Calvinist  admits  that  God  makes 
the  offer  of  salvation  to  the  sinner,  knowing  that  he 
has  not  the  ability  in  himself  to  accept  it,  and  this 
difficulty  he  is  bound  to  meet.  The  Arminian  affirms 
that  he  is  not  confronted  with  that  difficulty  because, 
according  to  his  doctrine,  God  bestows  upon  the  sin- 
ner who  hears  the  gospel  offer  the  ability  to  embrace 
it.  Now,  if  it  can  be  proved  that  the  ability  which 
the  Arminian  affirms  to  be  conferred  upon  the  sinner 
is  really  no  ability  at  all,  it  will  be  shown  that  the 
Arminian  doctrine  labors  under  precisely  the  same 
difficulty  with  the  Calvinistic,  aggravated,  however, 
by  the  consideration  that  it  holds  with  respect  to  the 
extension  of  the  gospel  to  all  men;  whereas  the  Cal- 
vinistic has  to  meet  it,  only  with  respect  to  the  tender 
of  that  offer  to  some  men — namely,  the  non-elect. 

The  proof  that  the  ability  to  accept  the  gospel  offer, 
which  the  Arminian  asserts  to  be  imparted  to  the  sin- 
ner, is  really  no  sufficient  ability,  has  been  furnished 
in  the  preceding  part  of  this  discussion.  There  the 
argument  going  to  show  the  utter  insufficiency  of  this 
alleged  ability  divinely  conferred  upon  the  unregen- 

Objection  from  Divine   Veracity.  393 

erate  sinner  was  prosecnted  with  some  thoroughness. 
It  is  unnecessary  to  repeat  it  here. 

If,  therefore,  it  can  be  evinced  tliat  the  Calvinist 
represents  God  as  insincere  because  he  extends  the 
gospel  offer  to  the  non-elect  who  are  unable  to  accept 
it,  for  the  very  same  reason  it  can  be  proved  that  the 
Arminian  represents  God  as  insincere  in  communi- 
cating that  offer  to  all  men.  The  Arminian  has  no 
right  to  urge  an  objection  against  the  Calvinistic  doc- 
trine which  really  presses  with  still  greater  weight 
upon  his  own. 

This  concludes  the  discussion  of  the  objections 
against  the  Calvinistic  doctrines  of  election  and  rep- 
robation, which  are  grounded  in  their  alleged  incon- 
sistency with  the  moral  attributes  of  God. 



I   PASS  on,  finally,  to  answer  those  objections  to  the 
Calvinistic  doctrines  of  election  and  reprobation 
which  are  derived  from  the  Moral  Agency  of  Man. 

This,  for  two  reasons,  will  be  done  briefly.  In  the 
first  place,  the  preceding  discussion,  in  which  objec- 
tions to  these  doctrines  drawn  from  the  moral  attri- 
butes of  God  were  subjected  to  a  thorough-going  ex- 
amination, has  swept  away  much  of  the  ground  upon 
which  the  Arminian  erects  difficulties  professedly 
growing  out  of  the  relations  between' the  divine  effic- 
iency and  the  agency  of  the  human  will.  Again  and 
again,  by  repeated  statement  itsqiie  ad  nauseam^  which 
could  only  have  been  justified,  and  was  fully  justified, 
by  the  common  misconception  and  consequent  mis- 
representation of  the  true  doctrine  of  symbolic  Cal- 
vinism, and  the  importance  of  its  being  stated  and 
expounded  with  a  clearness  and  fulness  that  would 
render  misapprehension  impossible,  it  has  been  shown, 
that  the  causal  efficiency  of  God  did  not  so  operate 
upon  the  will  of  man  as  to  determine  it  to  the  com- 
mission of  the  first  sin  and  thus  to  necessitate  the 
Fall.  Man  sinned  by  a  free — that  is,  not  a  merely 
spontaneous,  but  an  avoidable,   decision  of  his  own 


Objection  from  Moral  Agency  of  Man.       395 

will.  For  this  even  Twisse,  the  great  Snpralapsarian, 
explicitly  contends.  It  has  also  been  evinced,  by  a 
minute  analysis  of  the  doctrine  of  the  Evangelical 
Arniinian  concerning  the  human  will  after  the  Fall, 
that  he  is  shut  up  to  a  choice  between  two  alterna- 
tives :  either,  that  the  prevenient  and  sufficient  grace 
which  he  affirms  to  be  conferred  upon  all  men  is  re- 
generating grace;  or,  that  it  is  the  natural  will,  clothed 
with  the  power  to  accept  or  to  reject  the  aid  of  super- 
natural grace,  which  determines  the  question  of  prac- 
tical salvation.  If  he  adopts  the  former  alternative 
he  admits  the  Calvinistic  doctrine,  so  far  as  the  nature 
of  the  grace  is  concerned,  though  not  the  numerical 
extent  of  its  bestowal.  If  he  chooses  the  latter  alter- 
native, he  makes,  in  the  last  resort,  common  cause 
with  the  Pelagian.  If  he  concedes  prevenient  and 
sufficient  grace  to  be  regenerating,  he,  along  with  the 
Calvinist,  is  pressed  by  the  difficulty  of  reconciling 
the  determining  efficacy  of  God's  will  with  the  free 
action  of  the  human  will.  If  he  denies  that  grace  to 
be  regenerating,  he,  along  with  the  Pelagian,  gets 
quit  of  the  difficulty  mentioned,  but,  with  him,  en- 
counters the  greater,  of  showing  how  a  sinful  will, 
undetermined  by  the  divine  efficiency,  determines  it- 
self to  tlie  generation  of  holy  dispositions  and  the 
performance  of  saving  acts. 

In  the  second  place,  as  it  has  been  the  design  of 
this  treatise,  in  the  main,  to  consider  the  peculiar  and 
distinctive  doctrines  of  Evangelical  Arminians  in 
connection  with  election  and  reprobation,  it  would 
not  comport  with  that  purpose  elaborately  to  examine 
the  ground  which  is  common  between  them  and  the 
earlier  Arminians  of  the  Remonstrant  type.     There  is 

396     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

at  bottom  but  little  to  discriminate  the  one  system 
from  the  other  as  far  as  the  moral  agency  of  man  is 
involved.  So  much  as  differentiates  the  Evangelical 
Arminian  scheme,  in  regard  to  the  relation  of  the 
human  will  to  the  grace  of  redemption,  has  passed 
under  strict  review  in  the  foregoing  remarks.  For 
these  reasons,  what  is  to  be  said  under  this  head  of 
the  subject  will  be  compressed  within  narrow  limits. 
Certain  things  must  be  premised.  The  meaning  of 
the  terms  employed  in  the  discussion  ought  to  be 
definitely  fixed;,  otherwise  no  satisfactory  result  can  be 
reached.  Nothing  is  more  common  among  Calvinists 
than  this  remark,  which  is  by  many  accepted  as 
almost  an  axiom:  The  attempt  to  reconcile  the  sov- 
ereignty of  God  and  the  free  agency  of  man  is  hope- 
less and  therefore  gratuitous.  God  is  sovereign:  man 
is  a  free-agent.  Both  these  propositions  are  true. 
I^ach  is  separately  established  by  its  own  independent 
evidence.  Each,  therefore,  is  to  be  maintained. 
Our  inability  to  evince  their  consistency  is  no  ground 
for  rejecting  either.  Let  us  leave  their  reconciliation 
to  another  sphere  of  being,  satisfied  in  this  with  the 
reflection  that  they  are  not  contradictions.  There  is 
a  sense  in  which  all  this  is  true;  but,  without  qualifi- 
cations of  its  meaning  and  definitions  of  its  terms, 
the  dictum  as  one  of  universal  validity  is  so  vague  as 
to  settle  nothing.  What  is  meant  by  one  of  the  terms 
of  the  contrast — the  sovereignty  of  God?  It  may  be 
conceived  as  that  aspect  of  the  divine  will  which  is 
expressed  in  both  his  efficient  and  permissive  decrees. 
Accordingly  it  may  be  apprehended  as  in  some  in- 
stances absolutely  pre-determining  events,  and  as  in 
others  bounding,  ordering  and  governing  events  which 

Objection  from  Moral  Agency  of  Man.       397 

are  not  absolutely  predetermined,  but  permitted  to 
occur.  Or,  again,  the  sovereignty  of  God  may  be 
conceived  as  thaX- aspect  of  his  will  which  is  expressed 
alone  in  efficient  decree,  and  as  therefore  absolutely 
pre-determining  events.  Now  it  is  evident  that  the 
question  of  reconciling  the  free-agency  of  man  with 
that  sort  of  divine  sovereignty  which  operates  in  con- 
nection with  permissive  decree  is  a  very  different  one 
from  the  question  of  reconciling  the  free-agency  of 
man  with  that  kind  of  sovereignty  which  operates 
in  connection  with  efficient  decree  and  absolute  pre- 
determination. This  distinction  cannot  be  disre- 
garded, if  we  would  get  a  clear  apprehension  of  the 
state  of  the  question. 

What,  next,  is  meant  by  the  other  term  of  the  con- 
trast— the  free-agency  of  man  ?  I  shall  not  here  pause 
to  discuss  the  unnecessary  question,  whether  there  is 
not  a  difference  between  the  freedom  of  the  will  and 
the  freedom  of  the  man;  but  shall  assume  that  there 
is  no  such  difference  worth  contending  about,  since 
the  will  is  precisely  the  power  through  which  the 
freedom  of  the  man  expresses  itself.  To  affirm  or 
deny  the  freedom  of  the  will  is  the  same  thing  as  to 
affirm  or  deny  the  freedom  of  the  man.  The  very 
question  is,  whether  or  not  the  man  is  free  in  willing, 
or  free  to  will.  If  he  is  not  free  in  respect  to  his  will, 
it  is  certain  that  he  is  not  in  respect  to  any  other  fac- 
ulty. Now,  if  we  may  credit  the  common  judgment 
of  mankind,  there  are  two  distinct  kinds  of  freedom 
which  ought  never  to  be  confounded.  The  one  is  the 
freedom  of  deliberate  election  between  opposing  alter- 
natives, of  going  in  either  of  two  directions,  the  free- 
dom,  as  it  is  sometimes  denominated,   of  otherwise 

39^     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

determining.  The  other  is  the  freedom  of  a  fixed 
and  determined  spontaneity.  It  might  have  been 
well  if  these  two  things  had  always  been  kept  dis- 
tinct; if  the  X.^x\\\  freedom  had  been  restricted  to  the 
former,  and  the  term  spontaneity  had  been  assigned 
to  the  latter.  This  was  the  jndgment  of  so  acute  and 
judicious  a  thinker  as  Calvin,  and  had  that  course 
been  pursued  a  vast  amount  of  logomachy  would  have 
been  avoided.  Let  us  illustrate  the  importance  and 
test  the  accuracy  of  this  abstract  distinction  by  con- 
crete cases.  Man  in  innocence  possessed  the  freedom 
of  deliberate  election  between  the  opposite  alterna- 
tives of  sin  and  holiness.  So  has  the  Church  univer- 
sal held.  He  may  have  chosen  either.  He  was  not 
determined  by  a  fixed  moral  spontaneity  either  to 
holiness  or  to  sin.  Man  in  his  fallen  and  unregener- 
ate  condition  does  not  possess  the  freedom  of  deliber- 
ate election  between  the  opposing  alternatives  of  holi- 
ness and  sin.  By  his  first  fatal  act  of  transgression, 
he  determined  his  spiritual  condition  as  one  of  fixed 
spontaneity  in  the  single  direction  of  sin.  He  is 
spontaneously  free  to  choose  sin,  but  he  is  not,  with- 
out grace,  free  deliberately  to  elect  holiness.  Here 
then  is  a  case  of  spontaneous  freedom,  but  not  of  the 
freedom  of  deliberate  choice  between  conflicting  alter- 
natives. Man  as  a  saint  in  glory  has  not  the  freedom 
of  deliberate  election  between  the  alternatives  of  holi- 
ness and  sin;  he  is  determined  by  a  fixed  spontaneity 
in  the  direction  of  holiness.  He  is  spontaneously 
free  in  the  choice  of  holiness,  but  he  is  not  free  delib- 
erately to  elect  sin.  When,  therefore,  it  is  assumed 
that  the  free-agency  of  man  is  an  independent  truth 
resting  upon  its  own  indisputable  evidence,  it  must 

Objection  from  Moral  Agejtcy  of  Mari.        399 

be  inquired,  Which  of  these  kinds  of  free-agency  is 
meant?  For  it  is  of  vital  importance  to  know  in 
what  sense  the  Wrm  is  employed.  And  it  is  also  of 
the  greatest  consequence  to  understand  in  what  cir- 
cumstances man  is  contemplated,  when  free-agency 
in  either  one  or  the  other  sense  is  predicated  of  him. 

Let  us  now  apply  these  obvious  distinctions  between 
two  forms  of  divine  sovereignty  on  the  one  hand,  and 
.two  kinds  of  human  freedom  on  the  other,  to  the 
maxim  which  has  been  cited  in  regard  to  the  recon- 
cilability of  the  sovereignty  of  God  and  the  free- 
agency  of  man.  Let  it  be  observ^ed  that  in  this  dic- 
tum the  sovereignty  of  God  is  regarded  as  his  efficient 
and  pre-determining  will.  It  is  plain  that  the  ques- 
tion is  not,  how  the  free-agency  of  man  can  be  recon- 
ciled with  the  sovereignty  of  God  considered  as  his 
permissive  will.  It  is  only  when  the  free  action  of 
the  human  will  is  viewed  in  its  relation  to  the  efficient 
and  pre-determining  will  of  God  that  apparent  con- 
tradiction results — an  apparent  contradiction  with 
which  it  is  said  we  must  rest  content  in  our  present 
sphere  of  thought. 

How  was  it  in  the  case  of  man  before  the  Fall  ?  If 
lie  possessed  the  freedom  of  deliberate  election  be- 
tween the  opposite  alternatives  of  holiness  and  sin,  if 
he  was  free  to  sin  and  free  to  abstain  from  sinning,  it 
would  seem  to  be  clear  that  God  did  not  by  his  effic- 
ient will  pre-determine  that  he  should  sin;  for  in  that 
case,  the  sin  of  man  would  have  been  necessitated 
and  therefore  unavoidable.  On  the  other  hand,  if 
God  had  efficaciously  pre-determined  man's  sin,  it 
would  seem  to  be  equally  clear  that  man  could  not 
have  had  the  freedom  of  deliberate  election  between 

400     Calvinis77i  and  Evangelical  Armiitianism. 

holiness  and  sin,  between  sinning  and  not  sinning. 
To  say  that  God  pre-determined  the  first  sin,  and  that 
man  was  free  to  abstain  from  its  commission,  that  is, 
that  he  might  not  have  sinned,  would  be  to  affirm  not 
merely  an  apparent,  but  a  real  contradiction.  As  pre- 
determined by  the  divine  will  to  sin  he  was  obliged 
to  sin;  as  free  to  abstain  from  sinning  he  was  not 
obliged  to  sin.  The  contradiction  is  patent.  This 
contradiction  is  not  inherent  in  the  Calvinistic  doc- 
trine. The  Calvinistic  Confessions,  which  surely 
ought  to  be  accepted  as  exponents  of  Calvinism, 
affirm  that  man  before  the  Fall  was  possessed  of  the 
freedom  of  deliberate  election  between  the  alterna- 
tives of  sin  and  holiness  ;  and  they  also  teach  that 
God  decreed  to  permit — they  do  not  assert  that  he 
efficiently  decreed — the  first  sin.  There  is  conse- 
quently no  question  of  reconciling  the  free-agency  of 
man  before  the  Fall  with  the  sovereignty  of  God  con- 
sidered as  his  efficient  and  pre-determining  will,  so 
far  as  the  first  sin  is  concerned.  The  relation  was 
between  the  sovereignty  of  God  as  his  permissive 
will  and  the  freedom  of  man  deliberately  to  choose 
between  the  opposite  alternatives  of  holiness  and  sin; 
and  whatever  difficulties  may  arise  in  connection  with 
that  relation,  they  cannot  be  regarded  as  involving 
even  a  seeming  contradiction. 

The  inquiry  next  arises.  What  is  the  relation  be- 
tween the  sovereign  will  of  God  and  the  free-agency 
of  man  after  the  Fall  ?  In  his  fallen  condition,  un- 
modified by  the  influence  of  supernatural  grace,  man 
does  not  possess  the  freedom  of  deliberate  election 
between  the  contrary  alternatives  of  sin  and  holiness. 
That  sort  of  freedom,  as  has  been  shown,  he  had  in 

Objection  from  Moral  Agejicy  of  Man.       401 

his  estate  of  innocence,  but  lie  lost  it  when  he  fell. 
By  his  own  free,  that  is,  unnecessitated,  self-decision 
in  favor  of  sin,  he  established  in  his  soul  a  fixed  and 
determined  spontaneity  in  tlie  direction  of  sin.      He 
sins  freely,  in  the  sense  of  spontaneously;  in  sinning- 
he    is    urged    by    no   compulsory  force  exerted   by  a 
divine  influence  either  upon  him  or  through  him,  but 
follows  the  bent  of   his  own   inclination — in  a  word, 
does  as    he  pleases.     He  is  not,  however,  free  to  be 
holy  or  to  do  holy  acts.      Spiritually   disabled,  he  is 
no  more  free  to  produce  holiness  than  is  a  dead  man 
to  generate  life.     When,  therefore,  it  is  affirmed  that 
man    is   a  free-agent  in  his  sinful   and  unregenerate 
condition,  it    must   be  demanded,  what  sort  of  free- 
agency  is  meant.     If  the  freedom  of  choosing  between 
sin  and  holiness  be   intended,  the  affirmation  is  not 
true.      He  only  possesses  the  freedom  which   is  im- 
plied by  a  fixed  spontaneity  in  accordance  with  which 
he    pleases    to  sin.     Only  in  that  sense  is  he  a  free- 
agent,  as  to  spiritual  things.      In  inquiring,  whether 
the  free-agency  of  man  in  his  sinful  and  unregenerate 
condition  can    be  reconciled  with  the  sovereign  will 
of  God  as  efficient  and  determinative,  it  must  be  re- 
membered that  it  is  only  the  freedom  of  sinful  spon- 
taneity concerning  which  the  inquiry  is  possible.      It 
alone,  and    not   the  freedom  of  election  between  sin 
and    holiness,    is   one    of  the  terms  of  the  relation. 
What  this  relation  is  between  the  sinful  spontaneity 
of  the  unregenerate   man  and   the  sovereign  will   of 
God  as  efficient  and  determining,  I  will  not  now  dis- 
cuss/ for  the  reason  that  the  matter  which  is  under 

^  The  doctrine  of  Calvin  upon  that  subject  I  presented  in  the 
Soutliern  Presbyterian  Revieiv,  for  October,  1880. 

402     Calvinis7n  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

consideration  here  is  the  relation  between  the  sove- 
reignty of  God  and  the  free-agency  of  man  in  respect 
to  the  great  concern  of  practical  salvation. 

Before  the  regeneration  of  a  sinner  the  qnestion 
of  reconciling  his  free-agency  as  to  spiritual  things 
with  the  sovereignty  of  God  viewed  as  efficient  can- 
not exist,  for  the  plain  reason  that  the  un regenerate 
man  has  no  such  free-agency.  He  is  not  free  to 
choose  holiness,  to  accept  in  his  natural  strength  the 
gospel  offer  and  to  believe  on  Christ  unto  salvation. 
It  is  not  intended  to  affirm  that  God  positively  inter- 
poses hindrances  in  the  way  of  his  performing  these 
spiritual  acts,  or  that  the  legal  obstacles  in  the  way 
of  his  salvation  have  not  been  removed  by  the  atoning 
work  and  merit  of  the  Saviour.  The  contrary  is  true. 
Nor  is  the  ground  taken,  that  the  un  regenerate  sinner 
is  not  under  obligation  to  obey  the  call  and  com- 
mand of  God  to  all  men  to  comply  with  the  terms 
of  the  gospel,  or  that  he  is  not  bound  to  use  such 
means  of  grace  as  are  divinely  placed  in  his  power,  or 
that  he  has  no  natural  ability  and  opportunities  to 
employ  those  means.  But  although  all  this  is  con- 
ceded, still  the  doctrine  of  Scripture  is  that  he  has  no 
freedom  to  will  his  own  spiritual  life,  and  conse- 
quently no  freedom,  in  the  absence  of  that  life,  to 
wnll  the  existence  of  spiritual  dispositions  and  the 
discharge  of  spiritual  functions.  His  spontaneous 
habitudes  are  exclusively  sinful:  he  is  dead  in  tres- 
passes and  sins.  To  talk  then  of  reconciling  the 
sovereignty  of  God  with  the  free-agency  in  spiritual 
things  of  the  unregenerate  sinner  is  to  talk  of  re- 
conciling that  sovereignty  with  nothing.  One  of  the 
terms  of  the  supposed  relation  is  absent,  and  the  re- 

objection  from  Moral  Agency  of  Man,        403 

latioii  is  non-existent.  There  is  no  problem  to  be 
solved.  The  influence  of  the  Spirit  of  God  upon  the 
sinner  before  reg-eneration,  however  powerful,  is 
simply  illuminating  and  suasive.  It  enlightens,  in- 
structs and  convinces,  warns,  invites  and  persuades; 
but  as  such  divine  operations  are  confessedly  not  de- 
termining, the  problem  under  consideration  does  not 
emerge  in  connection  with  them. 

Nor  can  it  occur  in  respect  to  regeneration  itself. 
In  the  supreme  moment  of  regeneration,  which  from 
tlie  nature  of  the  case  is  an  instantaneous  act  of 
almighty  power,  the  sinner  can  be  nothing  more  than 
the  passive  recipient  of  a  newly  created  principle  of 
life.  The  omnipotent  grace  of  God  efficaciously 
causes  a  new  spiritual  existence,  makes  the  previously 
dead  sinner  a  new  creature  in  Christ  Jesus.  The 
ability  to  w'ill  holiness,  the  freedom  to  choose  it,  are 
thus  divinely  produced.  Free-agency  in  regard  to 
spiritual  things  is  originated.  That  sort  of  free- 
agency  not  having  existed  until  called  into  being  by 
the  regenerating  act,  it  is  idle  to  talk  of  reconciling 
it  with  the  sovereign  and  efficient  will  of  God  ex- 
pressed in  that  act.  The  only  reconciliation,  in  the 
case,  which  it  is  possible  to  conceive  is  that  between 
a  producing  cause  and  its  effects;  and  it  would  be  un- 
meaning to  speak  of  their  reconciliation  before  the 
effect  is  produced. 

After  the  regeneration  of  the  sinner  has  been  ef- 
fected, the  question  as  to  the  reconciliation  of  divine 
sovereignty  and  human  free-agency  becomes  a  perti- 
nent one,  and,  I  am  free  to  confess,  an  insoluble  one. 
It  is  clearly  the  teaching  of  the  Scriptures  that  God 
determines  the  will  of  the  renewed  man  to  holiness, 

404     Catvi7iism  and  Evangelical  Arminiamsm. 

and  also  that  the  will  of  the  renewed  man  freely,  that 
is,  spontaneously  chooses  holiness.  The  renewed  na- 
ture, after  being  started  into  existence,  is  not  left  to 
develop  the  principle  of  life,  like  a  potential  germ,  in 
accordance  with  inherent  and  self-acting  laws  or  spir- 
itual forces.  It  continually  needs  fresh  infusions  of 
grace,  new  accessions  of  spiritual  strength;  and  the 
grace  which  created  the  nature,  and  implanted  in  it 
the  principle  of  spiritual  life,  is  necessary  not  only  to 
sustain  that  life,  but  also  to  determine  its  activities. 
At  the  same  time  the  renewed_  nature  spontaneously 
exerts  its  own  energies.  In  a  word,  God  determines 
the  renewed  will,  but  the  renewed  will  acts  in  accord- 
ance with  its  own  spontaneous  elections.  A  single 
explicit  passage  of  Scripture  proves  this  representa- 
tion of  the  case  to  be  correct.  The  apostolic  injunc- 
tion is:  "Work  out  your  own  salvation  with  fear  and 
trembling.  For  it  is  God  which  worketh  in  you  both 
to  will  and  to  do  of  his  good  pleasure."  ^ 

How  this  is  so,  who  can  explain?  It  is  a  mystery 
unfathomed,  and  probably,  in  the  present  sphere  of 
thought,  unfathomable.  The  difficulty  does  not  con- 
sist in  the  fact  that  God  creates  a  will  endowed  with 
the  power  of  free,  spontaneous  action.  He  also  cre- 
ates the  intellect  and  the  feelings  with  their  own 
spontaneous  activities.  But  the  difficulty  lies  in  this: 
that  having  created  a  will  with  ability  spontaneously 
to  elect  its  own  acts,  he  by  an  efficient  influence  de- 
termines those  acts.  This  he  did  not  do  in  the  in- 
stance of  man  before  the  Fall.  He  did  not  determine 
his  spontaneous  activities.  But  this  he  does  in  the 
case  of  the  believer  in  Christ,  so  far  as  he  is  regener- 
^  Phil.  ii.  12,  13. 

Objection  .fro7n  Moral  Agency  of  Man.        405 

ate  and  his  will  is  renewed,  and  in  the  case  of  the 
saint  in  glory.  Here  the  maxim,  which  has  been  the 
snbject  of  criticism  in  these  remarks,  holds  good.  In 
our  inability  specnlatively  to  harmonize  the  sovereign 
efficiency  of  God  with  the  spontaneous  freedom  of  the 
saint,  w^e  are  obliged  to  accept  both  facts  upon  the 
authority  of  the  divine  Word.  Both  being  true,  there 
can  be  no  real  contradiction  between  them  ;  and  our 
impotence  to  effect  their  reconciliation  is  but  one  of 
the  many  lessons  which  enforce  the  humility  spring- 
ing from  the  limitation  of  our  faculties,  furnish  scope 
for  the  exercise  of  faith,  and  stimulate  to  the  quest  of 
truth.  But  formidable  as  this  difficulty  is,  it  is  not 
the  insuperable  difficulty  involved  in  the  supposition 
that  the  efficient  determination  of  the  divine  will  con- 
sists with  the  freedom  of  deliberate  election  between 
contrary  alternatives,  on  the  part  of  the  human  will. 
The  one  may  be  inconceivable;  the  other  is  incredible. 

The  bearing  of  this  statement  of  the  distinctions 
which  ought  to  be  observed  touching  divine  sover- 
eignty and  human  free-agency  upon  the  objections  to 
the  doctrines  of  election  and  reprobation  will  be  ap- 
parent as  those  objections  shall  be  considered.  It 
goes  far  towards  answering  them  by  anticipation,  and 
will  justify  brevity  in  dealing  with  them. 

First,  It  is  alleged  that  these  doctrines  are  incon- 
sistent with  liberty  and  therefore  with  moral  account- 

Secondly,  It  is  alleged  that  these  doctrines  are  in- 
consistent with  personal  effiDrts  to  secure  salvation. 

We  must  divide.  As  election  influences  only  the 
case  of  the  elect,  the  question  is,  first,  whether  it  is 
inconsistent   with    their    liberty    and  moral  account- 

4o6     Calvinisin  and  Evangelical  Arminianis7n. 

ability;  and,  secondly,  whether  it  is  inconsistent  with 
their  efforts  to  secnre  salvation.  The  only  mode  in 
which  it  can  be  conceived  to  be  inconsistent  with 
their  free  moral  agency  in  these  forms  is,  that  by 
means  of  efficacions  grace  it  irresistibly  effects  the 
production  of  holiness. 

1.  It  is  admitted  that  such  is  the  result  of  election 
upon  the  elect. 

2.  This,  however,  does  not  prove  it  to  be  inconsist- 
ent with  their  free  moral  agency,  but  the  contrary, 
for  the  following  reasons: 

(i.)  Did  not  grace  create  a  will  to  be  holy,  there 
could  be  no  such  will  in  a  sinner.  As  has  been  al- 
ready shown,  he  lost  the  liberty  of  willing  holiness  by 
reason  of  sin.  He  cannot,  in  his  own  strength,  re- 
cover it.  The  dead  cannot  recover  life.  As,  then, 
efiBcacious  grace,  the  fruit  of  election,  restores  to  him 
the  liberty  to  will  holiness,  so  far  from  being  incon- 
sistent with  that  liberty,  it  is  proved  to  be  its  only 
cause.  How  a  cause  can  be  inconsistent  with  its 
effect,  and  an  effect  due  to  its  operation  alone,  it  is 
impossible  to  see.  Upon  this  point  the  Evangelical 
Arminian  maintains  contradictory  positions.  He 
holds  that  as  man  is  naturally  dead  in  sin,  he  cannot 
of  himself  will  holiness.  Grace  must  give  him  that 
ability,  that  is,  that  spiritual  liberty  to  will  holiness. 
But  he  also  holds  that  if  grace  does  this,  it  destroys 
the  liberty  of  the  moral  agent. 

(2.)  The  liberty  and  moral  accountability  of  the 
elect  cannot  be  destroyed  by  election,  acting  by 
means  of  efficacious  and  determininfr  erace,  for  if 
it  were,  there  could  be  no  such  thing  as  immuta- 
ble confirmation  in    holiness.     But  Kvano-elical  Ar- 

Objection  from  Moral  Agency  of  Man.        407 

minians  themselves  admit  the  fact  that  the  glorified 
saints  are  confirmed  in  holiness,  so  as  to  be  beyond 
the  dano^er  of  a  fall.  Now,  there  are  only  two  sup- 
positions possible:  either,  the  glorified  saints  are  con- 
firmed by  virtue  of  their  own  culture  of  holy  habits, 
that  is  to  say,  by  virtue  of  the  holy  characters  which 
they  themselves  have  formed;  or,  they  are  confirmed 
by  the  determining  grace  of  God.  The  first  supposi- 
tion is  manifestly  inconsistent  with  the  confirmation 
of  infants  dying  in  infancy,  and  of  adults  who,  like 
the  penitent  thief  on  the  cross,  are  transferred  to 
heaven  without  having  had  the  opportunity  of  de- 
veloping holy  characters  on  earth.  The  second  sup- 
position must  therefore  be  adopted,  to  wit,  that  the 
saints  in  glory  are  confirmed  in  their  standing  by  the 
infusions  of  determining  grace.  But  it  surely  will 
not  be  contended  that  they  are  deprived  of  liberty 
and  moral  accountability  on  that  account.  No  more, 
then,  are  saints  on  earth.  The  principle  is  precisely 
the  same  in  both  cases.  Further,  Evangelical  Ar- 
minians  acknowledge  that  those  who  reach  heaven 
are  elected  to  final  salvation.  If  election,  according 
to  their  own  admission,  is  not  inconsitent  with  the 
liberty  and  moral  accountability  of  moral  agents  in 
heaven,  why  should  it  be  held  to  be  inconsistent  with 
those  attributes  in  moral  aijents  on  earth? 

(3.)  The  doctrine  of  Prayer,  as  held  by  both  Evan- 
gelical Arminians  and  Calvinists,  completely  refutes 
this  objection.  Prayer  is  a  confession  of  human  help- 
lessness, a  cry  for  the  intervention  of  almighty  and 
efficacious  grace.  When  we  cannot  deliver  ourselves, 
we  appeal  to  God  for  deliverance.  When  our  wills 
are  confessedly  impotent,  we  implore  grace  to  quicken 

4o8     Calvijiism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

and  determine  them.  We  pray  not  merely  to  be 
helped,  but  to  be  saved.  Would  he,  whose  feet  are 
stuck  fast  in  the  horrible  pit  and  the  miry  clay,  be 
relieved  by  such  an  answer  to  his  prayers  as  Hercules 
is  fabled  to  have  given  to  the  wagoner:  Help  yourself, 
and  then  I  will  help  you  ?  I  cannot  help  myself,  Ife 
cries;  O  Lord,  pluck  thou  my  feet  out  of  the  horrible 
pit  and  out  of  the  miry  clay.  When  God  answers  his 
prayer,  delivers  him,  puts  his  feet  upon  a  rock,  and  a 
new  song  in  his  mouth,  does  he  interfere  with  the  sup- 
pliant's liberty  and  moral  accountability  ?  If  so,  the 
more  of  such  interference,  the  better  for  despairing 
sinners.  Its  absence  is  hell;  its  presence  is  heaven. 
The  case  is  too  plain  to  need  argument.  Let  the  ex- 
perience of  converted  sinners  decide. 

(4.)  The  sudden,  overwhelming,  irresistible  conver- 
sion of  some  men  furnishes  an  answ^er  to  this  objec- 
tion. The  fact  of  such  conversions  Wesley  frankly 
admitted.  How  could  he  help  it  ?  Had  he  not  seen 
them  with  his  own  eyes?  Had  he  not  read  of  them 
in  the  Bible?  And  are  such  conversions  incompatible 
with  the  liberty  and  moral  accountability  of  those 
who  are  their  blessed  subjects  ?  When  Saul  of  Tarsus, 
the  hater  of  Jesus,  the  sava-ge  inquisitor  thirsting  for 
the  blood  of  the  saints,  was  suddenly,  overwhelm- 
ingly, irresistibly  converted  and  transmuted  into  a 
flaming  preacher  of  the  Cross,  was  the  supernatural, 
efficacious  and  determining  transformation  inconsist- 
ent with  his  liberty  and  moral  accountability? 

(5.)  The  doctrine  of  a  Special  Providence,  main- 
tained alike  by  Evangelical  Arminians  and  Calvin- 
ists,  overthrows  this  objection.  It  is  confessed  to  be 
a  scriptural  truth,  that  God  by  an  influence  exerted 

Objection  from  Moral  Agency  of  Man.        409 

in  his  natural  providence  upon  the  minds  and  hearts 
of  men  often  determines  their  thoughts,  inclinations 
and  purposes,  without  violating-  their  liberty  and 
accountability.  Why,  then,  should  it  be  thought  a 
thing  incredible  that  he  may,  with  the  same  result, 
exercise  a  like  determining  influence  by  his  grace? 
What  is  grace  but  special  providence  running  in  re- 
demptive moulds?  The  argument  here  from  analogy 
is  conclusive.  To  deny  determining  grace  is  to 
deny  determining  providence.  To  admit  determin- 
ing providence  is  to  admit  determining  grace. 

3.  Election  caiinot  be  inconsistent  with  personal 
efforts  to  secure  salvation. 

(i.)  An  obvious  reason  is,  that  its  very  design  is  to 
accomplish  that  result.  This  is  its  teleology.  How 
can  those  be  hindered  from  believing,  repenting  and 
performing  the  duties  of  holiness,  by  that  which  is  the 
sole  cause  of  faith,  repentance  and  holy  living?  And 
it  must  be  remembered,  that  these  graces  are  not 
merely  means,  but  parts,  of  salvation.  Those,  there- 
fore, who  are  elected  to  be  saved  are  elected  to  be- 
lieve, to  repent,  and  to  bring  forth  all  the  fruits  of 
holiness.  To  say  that  election  is  not  inconsistent 
with  efforts  to  secure  salvation  is  not  enough  :  it  is 
the  producing  cause  of  those  efforts.  Without  it 
they  never  would  be  put  forth  ;  with  it  they  certainly 
will.  Did  the  elect  not  employ  these  efforts  they 
would  defeat  God's  predestinating  purpose.  That 
such  is  his  purpose  was  incontestably  proved  by 
Scripture  testimony  in  the  former  part  of  this  treatise. 

(2.)  Election  is  not  inconsistent  with  the  use  of  the 
means  of  grace,  for  the  plain  reason  that  the  use  of 
those  means  by  the  elect  is  included  in  the  electing 

4IO      Calvhiism  and  Evangelical  Arjninianisj7t, 

decree.  The  means  of  grace  are  the  Word  of  God, 
the  Sacraments  and  Prayer.  These  means  the  elect 
are  predestinated  to  employ,  in  order  to  the  attain- 
ment of  salvation  as  the  predestinated  end. 

Hozv  the  determining-  grace  of  God,  which  is  the 
fruit  of  election,  consists  with  the  free,  that  is,  spon- 
taneous, action  of  the  human  will  is,  as  has  been 
confessed,  a  mystery  which  cannot  be  explained. 
But  not  only  is  the  consistency  a  fact  clearly  asserted 
by  the  Scriptures,  but  the  denial  of  it  would  be  the 
denial  of  the  possibility  of  salvation ;  for  did  not 
God's  grace  determine  the  will  of  the  sinner  towards 
salvation  it  is  absolutely  certain  that  it  would  never 
be  so  determined.  And,  further,  to  deny  the  fact  is 
to  deny  the  possibility  of  heavenly  confirmation  in 
holiness ;  which  is  to  deny  what  Arminians  admit. 

4.  The  remaining  question  is,  whether  the  decree 
of  reprobation  is  inconsistent  with  the  free  moral 
agency  of  the  non-elect  sinner. 

(i.)  That  ground  can  only  be  taken  upon  the  sup- 
position, that  as  God  in  consequence  of  election  irre- 
sistibly produces  the  holiness  of  the  elect,  so  in  con- 
sequence of  reprobation  he  irresistibly  produces  the 
sins  of  the  reprobate.  This  position  has  already  been 
abundantly  refuted.  God  is  not  the  author  of  sin  ; 
nor  does  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  affirm  that  he  is. 
On  the  contrary  it  solemnly  maintains  that  he  is  not; 
and  teaches,  that,  in  the  first  instance,  man  had  ample 
ability  to  refrain  from  sinning,  and  that  he  sinned  by 
a  free  and  avoidable  election  of  his  own  will.  The 
objection  under  consideration  represents  the  Calvinist 
as  holding  that  man  sinned  at  first  and  sins  now  be- 
cause he  was  reprobated.     This  is  an  utter  mistake. 

Objection  from  Moral  Agency  of  Man,        411 

He  holds  that  every  man  who  is  reprobated  was  rep- 
robated because  he  sinned.  It  is  palpably  clear,  there- 
fore, that,  as  reprobation  had  nothing  to  do  in  bring- 
ing about  sin  in  the  first  instance,  in  that  instance  it 
was  simply  impossible  that  it  could  have  been  incon- 
sistent with  the  free  moral  agency  of  man.  The  ob- 
jection amounts  to  this  absurdity:  man  freely  sinned 
and  was  therefore  reprobated;  consequently,  reproba- 
tion so  obstructed  the  free-agency  of  man  that  he 
could  not  avoid  sinning  ! 

(2.)  The  decree  of  reprobation  infuses  no  sinful 
principle  or  disposition  into  men  now.  Their  in- 
ability to  obey  God,  and  their  positive  inclination  to 
disobey  him,  are  the  results  of  their  own  free  and 
unnecessitated  choice,  in  the  first  instance,  and  their 
indisposition  to  avail  themselves  of  the  offer  of  salva- 
tion, and  to  put  forth  efforts  to  secure  holiness,  is 
what  they  now  spontaneously  elect.  They  do  not 
desire  holiness,  and  God  is  under  no  obligation  to 
change  their  wills  by  his  grace.  If  it  be  said,  that 
they  cannot  choose  holiness  and  salvation  because 
they  are  reprobated,  it  is  suflficient  to  reply,  first,  that 
they  are  reprobated  because  they  did  not  choose  holi- 
ness, and  do  not  choose  it  now,  but  chose  sin,  and 
choose  it  now ;  and,  secondly,  that  they  cannot 
choose  holiness  because  they  will  not,  and  reproba- 
tion precisely  coincides  with  their  own  wills.  To 
say  that  they  do  not  will  to  be  damned,  is  only  to  say 
that  they  are  not  willing  to  experience  the  retributive 
results  of  their  own  self-elected  conduct.  Of  course, 
they  are  not.  No  criminal  is  willing  to  be  hanged. 
But  if  he  was  willing  to  commit  the  crime  for  which 
he  is  hanged,    his   hanging   is  of  his  owa  getting. 

412     Calvinism,  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

The  sentence  of  the  judge  is  not  inconsistent  with  his 
free-agency  when  he  perpetrated  the  deed.  God 
gives  no  man  the  will  to  sin,  but  he  justly  inflicts  the 
doom  of  self-elected  sin.  Nor  can  his  sentence  of 
reprobation  be,  in  any  sense,  regarded  as  the  cause  of 
that  doom.  It  inflicts  w^hat  the  sinner  has  freely 
chosen.  In  fine,  reprobation  is  no  further  incon- 
sistent with  the  sinner's  seekinof  salvation  than  is  his 
own  will.  He  does  not  wish  to  be  holy,  and  repro- 
bation keeps  him  where  he  desires  to  be.  Reproba- 
tion did  not  cause  sin  ;  it  justly  punishes  it. 



The  affirmation  or  denial  of  the  doctrine  of  Un- 
conditional Election,  the  consideration  of  which  has 
now  been  closed,  must  stamp  the  complexion  of  one's 
wdiole  theology.  It  is  one  of  the  most  controlling  of 
all  doctrines,  in  the  influence  it  exerts  upon  the 
formation  of  a  theological  system.  If  it  be  admitted, 
the  whole  provision  of  redemption  is  viewed  as  de- 
signed to  effect  the  certain  salvation  of  the  elect, 
Christ  as  a  Saviour  appointed  to  save  his  people  from 
their  sins,  and  the  atonement  as  offered  for  them  in 
order  to  secure  that  result.  Total  depravity  and  total 
inability  are  logically  supposed  ;  for  if  unconditional 
election  be  a  fact,  man  is  contemplated  as  utterly 
unable  to  accomplish  anything,  even  the  least,  in  the 
way  of  saving  himself.  The  application  of  salvation, 
at  every  step  from  the  beginning  to  the  end,  accords 
with  the  sovereign  purpose  of  God,  by  his  own  power 
to  recover  the  sinner  from  his  condition  of  despair. 
The  grace  which  saves  is  efficacious  and  invincible. 
Synergism  in  order  to  regeneration  becomes  im- 
possible. Faith  in  Christ  is  seen  to  be  a  pure  gift  of 
grace.     Justification   is  acknowledged    to  be  due  to 


414     Cahnnism  and  Evangelical  Arniinianism. 

tlie  gratuitous  imputation  of  another's  righteousness, 
and  as  that  righteousness  is  the  perfect  obedience  to 
the  Law,  rendered  by  the  incarnate  Son  of  God  in 
conformity  with  the  terms  of  an  eternal  covenant 
between  God  the  Father  and  himself  as  the  Head  and 
Representative  of  an  elect  seed  given  to  him  to  be 
redeemed,  their  justification  in  him  involves  an  in- 
defectible life.  The  same  is  seen  to  be  true  of  adop- 
tion, which  forever  fixes  the  regenerate  children  of 
God  in  his  paternal  regards.  The  life  of  the  saints 
cannot  be  lost.  Sanctification  is  viewed  as  the  pro- 
cess by  which  the  Spirit  makes  the  elect  meet  for  the 
heavenly  inheritance  won  inalienably  for  them  by 
their  glorious  Surety  and  Substitute  ;  and  their  per- 
severance in  grace  is  the  necessary  result.  In  fine, 
this  doctrine  reduces  redemption  to  unity,  as  a 
scheme  originating  in  the  mere  good  pleasure  and 
sovereign  determination  of  God,  supposing  the  de- 
pendence of  man's  will  upon  God's  will,  making  the 
salvation  of  those  whom  God  chooses  as  his  people 
absolutely  certain,  and  necessitating  the  ascription  of 
the  whole,  undivided  glory  of  the  completed  plan  to 
the  free,  efficacious  and  triumphant  grace  of  God. 
Nothing  is  projected  which  is  not  executed,  nothing 
begun  whicli  is  not  finished,  nothing  promised  which 
is  not  done.  Conceived  in  the  infinite  intelligence 
of  God,  the  scheme  is  consummated  by  his  infinite 
power,  and  the  results  are  commensurate  with  the 
infinite  glory  of  his  name. 

If,  on  the  other  hand,  unconditional  election  is  de- 
nied, the  genius  of  redemption  becomes  contingency. 
The  atonement  was  offered  to  make  the  salvation  of 
all  men  only  possible;  the  human  will  has  the  power 

Transitional  Observations.  4I5 

to  accept  or  reject  the  tender  of  assisting  grace   and 
decides   the  supren>e  question  of  receiving  or  not  re- 
ceiving Christ  as  a  Saviour;  repentance  and  faith  pre- 
cede receneration-the  sinner  with  the  subsidiary  help 
of  grac;  arranges  for  liis  own  new  creation  and  resur- 
rection from  tlie  death  of  sin;  the  effects  of  justifica- 
tion and  adoption  are  conditioned  upon  the  continued 
choice  of  the  human  will  to  avail  itself  of  them;  and 
the   man  may  by  his  own  election  reach  heaven  ,n 
order  to  God's  electing  him  to  that  end,  or   although 
having    been    regenerated,  justified,  adopted    and,  it 
Ly   be,  entirely  sanctified,  he  may  at  last   all  from 
the    threshold  of  glory    into  hopeless   perdition      A 
,„ac.iiificent  scheme  of  divine  philanthropy,  embrac- 
ing''in   its  arms  the  whole  world,  professing  to  make 
the  salvation  of  all  men  possible,  it  miscarries  in  con- 
sequence of  its  dependence  upon  the  mutable  state 
and  the  contingent  action  of  the  human  will,  and  m 
its   completion    issues   in  the  actual  salvation  of  no 
more   souls  than  unconditional   election   proposes  to 
save      Its  poverty  of  result  is  as  great  as  its  richness 
in    promise:  its  achievement  in    inverse  ratio  to   its 

^   It'ls   proposed   now    to   go    on   and   compare   the 
schemes  of  Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism, 
in    re>'ard  to  the  doctrine  of  Justification  by  Faith. 
In  order  to  a  clear  view  of  the  case,  the  Calv.nistic 
doctrine  will    first   be  stated,  without   an    immediate 
presentation   of  its   proofs,  and  the   Evangelical   Ar- 
miniau  will  be  subjected  to  a  somewhat  particular:  ex- 
amination-examination, I  say,  for  it  is  a  question  of 
no  mean  difficulty  what  exactly  it  is.     Such  proofs 
of  the  former  doctrine  as  may  be  furnished  will   be 
submitted  during  the  discussion  of  the  latter. 



The  Calviiiistic  doctrine  may  be  stated  under  three 
heads:  first,  the  Ground  of  Justification;  secondly,  its 
Constituent  Elements,  or  Nature;  thirdly,  its  human 
Condition  or  Instrument. 

I.  The  Ground  of  Justification,  or,  what  is  the 
same,  its  Matter  or  Material  Cause,  is  the  vicarious 
righteousness  of  Christ  imputed  to  the  belie.ver.  This 
is  the  obedience  of  Christ,  as  the  appointed  Substi- 
tute of  the  sinner,  to  the  precept  and  the  penalty  of 
the  Moral  Law:  what  Paul  denominates  the  righteous- 
ness of  God  which  is  revealed  from  faith  to  faith.  It 
is  fitly  termed  the  righteousness  of  God,  not  only 
because  it  was  provided  and  accepted  by  God,  but 
because  it  was  wrought  out  by  God  himself  in  the 
person  of  Ins  Incarnate  Son.  It  is  God's  righteous- 
ness because  Ood  produced  it.  This  is  judicially  im- 
puted by  God  the  Father  to  the  believing  sinner,  who 
had  no  share  at  all  in  its  conscious  production.  In 
that  sense,  it  is  not  his,  but  another's,  righteousness 
—justitia  aliena.  But  as  Christ  was  his  Surety  and 
Representative  and  Christ's  righteousness  was  impu- 
ted to  him,  it  becomes,  in  this  sense,  his  righteous- 
ness.     It  is  his  in  law,  before  the  divine  tribunal;  not 


Calvinistic  Doctrhte  of  Justification.  417 

his  as  infused  and  constituting  a  subjective  character, 
but  his  as  a  formal  investiture  of  his  person.  God, 
tlierefore,  is  just  in  justifying  him  since,  although 
consciously  and  subjectively  a  sinner,  he  possesses  in 
Christ  a  perfect  righteousness,  such  as  the  law  de- 
mands in  order  to  justification,  and  such  as  satisfies 
its  claims.  When  the  sinner  by  faith  accepts  Christ 
with  this  righteousness,  he  has  an  adequate  ground 
of  justification:  consciously  has  it,  so  that  he  can 
plead  it  before  God. 

2.  The  Constituent  Elements  of  justification  are, 
first,  the  pardon,  or  non-imputation,  of  guilt ; 
secondly,  the  acceptance  of  the  sinner's  person  as 
righteous,  involving  his  investiture  with  a  right  and 
title  to  eternal  life.  Taken  generally,  justification 
may  be  said  to  consist  of  three  things :  first,  the  im- 
putation of  Christ's  righteousness ;  secondly,  the 
non-imputation  of  guilt,  or  pardon ;  thirdly,  the 
acceptance  of  the  sinner's  person  as  righteous  and 
the  bestowal  upon  him  of  a  right  and  title  to  eternal 
life.  But  taken  strictly,  justification  is  pardon  and 
the  eternal  acceptance  of  the  sinner's  person.  The 
ground  and  the  constituent  elements  are  not  to  be 
confounded.  It  is  not:  justification  is  the  non-im- 
putation of  guilt  and  the  imputation  of  righteousness, 
which  would  seem  to  be  the  natural  antithesis  ;  but 
first  comes  the  imputed  righteousness  of  Christ  as  the 
ground,  and  then  the  elements  or  parts, — namely, 
pardon,  and  acceptance  with  a  title  to  indefectible 

3.  The  Condition  on  man's  part,  or  the  Instru- 
ment, of  justification  is  Faith,  and  faith  alone.  In 
receiving  Christ,  as  a  justifying  Saviour,  it  receives 


4i8     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism. 

and  rests  upon  Christ's  righteousness,  as  the  ground  of 
justification.  God  imputes  this  righteousness  and  the 
sinner  embraces  it  by  faith.  In  describing  faith  as  the 
condition  of  justification,  an  indispensable  distinction 
is  to  be  noted.  The  only  meritorious  condition  of  jus- 
tification was  performed  by  Christ.  As  the  Repre- 
sentative of  his  people  he  undertook  to  furnish  that 
perfect  obedience  to  the  precept  of  the  Law  which, 
under  the  Covenant  of  Works,  was  required  of  Adam 
as  the  representative  of  his  seed  and  which  he  failed 
to  render,  and,  in  addition,  to  furnish  a  perfect  obedi- 
ence to  the  penalty  of  the  violated  law.  Upon  the 
fulfilment  of  this  condition  the  justification  of  his  seed 
was  suspended.  This  condition  he  completely  fulfilled 
in  his  life  and  in  his  death,  and  thus  meritoriously 
secured  justification  for  his  seed.  But  in  the  applica- 
tion of  redemption  to  the  sinner,  he  is  required  to  ex- 
ercise faith  in  Christ  and  his  righteousness,  in  order 
to  his  conscious  union  with  Christ  as  a  Federal  Head, 
and  his  actual  justification.  In  this  sense,  faith  is  to 
him  the  condition  of  his  justification.  It  is  simply  an 
i indispensable  duty  on  his  part — a  conditio  sine  qua 
non.  He  cannot  be  consciously  and  actually  justified 
without  faith;  but  his  faith  has  no  particle  of  merit. 
All  merit  is  in  Christ  alone.  Faith  involves  the  abso- 
lute renunciation  of  merit,  and  absolute  reliance  upon 
the  meritorious  obedience  of  Christ.  Faith,  then,  is 
simply  the  instrument  by  which  Christ  and  his  right- 
eousness are  received  in  order  to  justification.  It  is 
emptiness  filled  with  Christ's  fulness;  impotence  lying 
down  upon  Christ's  strength.  It  is  no  righteousness; 
it  is  not  a  substitute  for  righteousness;  it  is  not  im- 
puted as  righteousness.     It  is  counted  to  us  simply  as 

Calvinistic  Doch'inc  of  Justification.  419 

the  act  which  apprehends  Christ's  rigliteousness  unto 
justification.  All  it  does  is  to  take  what  God  gives — 
Christ  and  his  righteousness:  Christ  as  the  justifying 
Saviour  and  Christ's  righteousness  as  the  only  justi- 
fying righteousness. 

In  discharging  this  instrumental  office  faith  is  en- 
tirely alone.  It  is  followed,  and  in  accordance  with 
the  provisions  of  the  covenant  of  grace  it  is  inevit- 
ably followed,  by  the  other  graces  of  the  Spirit,  and 
by  good,  that  is,  holy  works;  but  they  do  not  co-operate 
with  it  in  the  act  by  which  Christ  and  his  righteous- 
ness are  received  in  order  to  justification.  They  are 
not  concurring  causes,  but  the  certain  results  of  jus- 
tification. In  a  word,  faith,  while  not  the  sole  cause 
for  the  act  of  the  Spirit  uniting  the  sinner  to  Christ 
in  regeneration  is  also  a  cause,  is  the  sole  instrumen- 
tal zd^ws^^  on  man's  part  of  justification.  Other  graces, 
the  existence  of  which  is  conditioned  by  faith  may 
be  superior  to  it  in  point  of  intrinsic  excellence,  love 
for  example;  faith  has  none.  All  the  excellence  it 
possesses  is  derived  from  its  relation  to  Christ.  Itself 
it  confesses  to  be  nothing,  Christ  to  be  everything. 
It  is  an  exhausted  receiver  prepared  by  its  very  empti- 
ness to  be  filled  with  the  merit  of  Christ's  righteous- 
ness. Hence,  it  is  precisely  suited  to  be  the  instru- 
ment, and  the  sole  instrument,  of  justification.  As 
all  human  works  whatsoever  are  excluded  from  it,  jus- 
tification is  seen  to  be  altogether  of  grace. 

The  statement  of  the  doctrine  in  the  \v'estminster 
Shorter  Catechism  is  the  same  with  the  foregoing, 
except  that  the  order  of  division  is  somewhat  differ- 
ent, the  constituent  elements  being  placed  before  the 
ground.     It  is  as  follows  : 

420     Calvmis77i  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

"Justification  is  an  act  of  God's  free  grace,  wherein 
he  pardoneth  all  our  sins,  and  accepteth  us  as  right- 
eous in  His  sight,  only  for  the  righteousness  of  Christ 
imputed  to  us,  and  received  by  faith  alone." 

The  statements  in  the  other  parts  of  the  Westmin- 
ster Standards  are  fuller.  That  of  the  Confession  of 
Faith  is  : 

"Those  whom  God  effectually  calleth,  he  also 
freely  justifieth  ;  not  by  infusing  righteousness  into 
them,  but  by  pardoning  their  sins,  and  by  account- 
ing and  accepting  their  persons  as  righteous :  not  for 
anything  wrought  in  them,  or  done  by  them,  but  for 
Christ's  sake  alone  :  not  by  imputing  faith  itself,  the 
act  of  believing,  or  any  other  evangelical  obedience 
to  them,  as  their  righteousness  ;  but  by  imputing  the 
obedience  and  satisfaction  of  Christ  unto  them,  they 
receiving  and  resting  on  Him  and  His  righteousness 
by  faith  ;  which  faith  they  have  not  of  themselves,  it 
is  the  gift  of  God." 

The  Larger  Catechism  thus  states  the  doctrine : 
"Justification  is  an  act  of  God's  free  grace  unto  sin- 
ners, in  which  he  pardoneth  all  their  sin,  accepteth 
and  accounteth  their  persons  righteous  in  His  sight; 
not  for  anything  wrought  in  them,  or  done  by  them, 
but  only  for  the  perfect  obedience  and  full  satisfaction 
of  Christ,  by  God  imputed  to  them,  and  received  by 
faith  alone."' 

In  his  Lecture  on  Justification,  in  his  Systematic 
Theology,  Dr.  Charles  Hodge  makes  a  just  and  ad- 
mirable statement  of  the  doctrine.'  "  It  is  frequently 
said,"  he  remarks,  "that  justification  consists  in  the 

^  Vol.  iii.,  p.  i6i.  Substantially  the  same  is  given  by  Owen,  On 
Justification^  Works,  vol.  v.,  pp.  173,  208. 

Calvinistic  Doctrine  of  Justification.  421 

pardon  of  sin  and  the  imputation  of  righteousness. 
This  mode  of  statement  is  commonly  adopted  by  Lu- 
theran theologians.     This  exhibition  of  the  doctrine 
is  founded  upon   the  sharp  distinction   made  in   the 
'  Form  of  Concord '  between  the  passive  and  active 
obedience  of  Christ.     To  the  former  is  referred  the 
remission  of  the  penalty  due   to  us  for  sin;  to  the 
latter  our  title  to  eternal  life.     The  Scriptures,  how- 
ever,   do    not    make   this   distinction    so   prominent. 
Our  justification  as  a  whole  is  sometimes  referred  to 
the  blood  of  Christ,  and  sometimes  to  his  obedience. 
This  is  intelligible,  because  the  crowning  act  of  his 
obedience,  and  that  without  which  all  else  had  been 
unavailing,  was  his  laying  down  his  life  for  us.     Itv 
is,  perhaps,  more  correct  to  say  that  the  righteousness  1 
of  Christ,  including  all   he  did  and  suffered  in  our  / 
stead,  is  imputed  to  the  believer  as  the  ground  of  his  L 
justification,  and  that  the  consequences  of  this  impu-! 
tation  are,  first,  the  remission  of  sin,   and,  secondly,  | 
the  acceptance  of  the  believer  as  righteous.     And  if  ■ 
ricrhteous,  then  he  is  entitled  to  be  so  regarded  and 

The  possibilities  in  regard  to  justification  are  thus 
clearly  presented  by  Dr.  Thornwell  in  his^  very  able 
discussion  of  the  validity  of  Romanist  Baptism,  when 
considering  the  form  of  the  sacrament  or  its  relation 
to  the  truths  of  the  gospel:  "To  justify  is  to  pro- 
nounce righteous.  A  holy  God  cannot,  of  course, 
declare  that  any  one  is  righteous  unless  he  is  so. 
There  are  no  fictions  of  law  in  the  tribunal  of  Heaven 
—all  its  judgments  are  according  to  truth.  A  man 
may  be  righteous  because  he  has  done  righteousness, 
and  then  he  is  justified  by  law;  or  he  may  be  right- 

422     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Armiiiianism. 

eons  because  he  has  received  rig-hteousness  as  a  gift, 
and  then  he  is  justified  by  grace.  Pie  may  be  right- 
eons  in  himself,  and  this  is  the  righteousness  of  works; 
or  he  may  be  righteous  in  another,  and  this  is  the 
righteousness  of  faith.  Hence,  to  deny  imputed  right- 
eousness is  either  to  deny  the  possibility  of  justifica- 
tion at  all,  or  to  make  it  consist  in  the  deeds  of  the 
law  —  both  hypotheses  involving  a  rejection  of  the 
grace  of  the  gospel.  There  are  plainly  but  three  pos- 
sible suppositions  in  the  case:  either,  there  is  no 
righteousness  in  which  a  sinner  is  accepted,  and  justi- 
fication is  simply  pardon;  or,  it  must  be  the  right- 
eousness of  God,  without  the  law;  or,  the  righteous- 
ness of  personal  obedience; — it  must  either  be  none, 
inherent,  or  imputed."  He  powerfully  refutes  the 
suppositions  of  no  righteousness  and  inherent  right- 
eousness, and  establishes  that  of  imputed. 

Having  given  the  Calvinistic  statement  of  the  doc- 
trine, I  proceed  to  compare  with  it  the  Evangelical 
Arminian,  under  three  corresponding  heads. 




The  Groiuid  or  Meritorious  Cause  of  justifica- 
tion the  Evangelical  Arminian  theologians  assert  to 
be  Christ's  ''obedience  unto  death."  This  is  a  gen- 
eral statement,  and,  so  far  as  it  is  general,  it  is  in 
accord  with  the  Calvinistic  doctrine  on  the  subject. 
He  who  would  take  any  other  ground  would  descend 
to  the  low  level  of  the  Pelagian  and  the  Socinian. 
All  who  pretend  to  orthodoxy  must  hold  that  the 
atoning  merit  of  God's  incarnate  Son  is  the  ground  of 
the  sinner's  acceptance  before  the  divine  tribunal. 
But  when  the  general  statement  is  analyzed  into  par- 
ticulars, there  are  several  points  at  which  the  differ- 
ences between  the  Arminian  and  the  Calvinistic  sys- 
tems come  distinctly  into  view.  Is  the  meritorious 
obedience  of  Christ  the  Righteousness  of  God  which 
is  revealed  from  faith  to  faith?  Upon  whom  does 
that  obedience  terminate  for  justification?  What  is 
the  result  secured  by  it  so  far  as  probation  is  con- 
cerned?— these  questions  are  answered  very  differently 
in  the  two  systems. 

I.  The  Calvinist  affirms,  and  the  Arminian  denies, 
that  "the  righteousness  of  God  revealed  from  faith  to 
faith"  is  the  vicarious  obedience  of  Christ  to  the  re- 


424    Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

quirements  of  the  law.  This  phrase,  "the  righteous- 
ness of  God/'  is  of  the  most  critical  importance  in  the 
apostle's  discussion  of  justification.  It  is  the  hinge 
upon  which  it  turns.  Why  was  not  Paul  ashamed  of 
the  gospel  of  Christ?  Because  it  is  the  power  of  God 
unto  salvation  to  every  one  that  believeth,  to  the  Jew 
first,  and  also  to  the  Greek.  Why  is  the  gospel  the 
power  of  God  unto  salvation?  Because  therein  is  the 
righteousness  of  God  revealed  from  faith  to  faith.  It  is 
precisely  the  fact  that  the  gospel  reveals  the  righteous- 
ness of  God  to  faith  which  constitutes  it  God's  power 
to  pardon  the  sinner  and  receive  him  into  his  favor. 
It  is  therefore  of  the  utmost  consequence  to  determine 
the  question,  What  is  this  righteousness  of  God?  As 
the  Arminian  denies  that  it  is  the  vicarious  obedience 
of  Christ  to  the  law,  it  behooves  him  to  answer  that 
question  in  some  other  way.  Several  answers  have 
been  returned:  first,  that  it  is  the  intrinsic  rectitude 
of  the  divine  character  declared  by  the  gospel;  sec- 
ondly, that  it  is  the  rectoral  justice  of  the  divine 
administration;  thirdly,  that  it  is  God's  method  of 
justification;  fourthly,  that  it  is  justifying  faith;  and 
sometimes  these  are  mixed  together  in  a  marvellous 
and  indescribable  compound. 

First^  Is  it  the  intrinsic  or  essential  righteousness 
of  God,  declared  by  the  gospel?  In  speaking  formally 
of  this  righteousness  Dr.  Pope  says:  "It  may  be 
viewed  objectively;  and  in  this  vSense  is  used  to  de- 
scribe God's  method  of  restoring  man  to  a  state  of 
conformity  with  his  law:  the  righteousness  of  God,  as 
the  originating  and  regulative  and  essential  principle 
of  that  method;  exhibited  in  the  work  of  Christ,  the 
meritorious  ground  of  the  sinner's  acceptance,  or  in 

The  Ground  of  Justification.  425 

Christ  our  Righteousness,  and,  as  such,  proclaimed 
in   the   gospel,    to  which  it  gives  a   name.     Viewed 
subjectively,  it   is   the   righteousness  of  the  believer 
under  two  aspects:  first,  it  is  Justification  by  faith,  or 
the  declaratory  imputation  of  righteousness  without 
works;  and  then  it  is  Justification  by  faith  as  working 
through  love  and   fulfilling   the  law;  these  however 
constituting  one  and  the  same  Righteousness  of  Faith 
as   the   free  gift  of  grace  in  Christ."     Speaking  fur- 
ther of  the   "Righteousness  of  God"  he  says:   "The 
gospel  is  a  revelation  of  God's  righteous  method  of 
constituting  sinners  righteous  through  the  atonement 
of  Christ  by  faith:  hence  it  is  termed  the  Righteous- 
ness of  God.     Viewed  in  relation  to  the  propitiatory 
sacrifice,  it  is  a  manifestation  of  God's  essential  right- 
eousness in  the  remission  of  sins;  view^ed  in  relation 
to  the  Evangelical  institute,  it  is  the  divine  method 
of  justifying  the  ungodly."     This  is  somewhat  con- 
fused and  obscure,  but  two  things  are  evidently  set 
forth:  in  the  first  place,  the  "righteousness  of  God" 
is  his  essential  righteousness  manifested  by  the  gos- 
pel; and  in  the  second  place,  the  "righteousness  of 
God"  is  his  method  of  justifying  sinners.     What  Dr. 
Pope  has  joined  together  logic  will  take  leave  to  put 
asunder,  as  the  union  was  ab  initio  null  and  void. 
The  former  of  these  positions  will  be  considered  first, 
and  separately  from   the  latter,  the  consideration  of 
which  is  reserved  to  another  place. 

It  needs  not  many  words  to  show^  that  the  essential 
righteousness,  or,  what  is  the  same,  the  justice,  of 
God  cannot  be  the  righteousness  of  God  which  is  re- 
vealed to  the  faith  of  the  guilty  and  despairing  sinner 
as  the  ground  of  his  hope  of  acceptance.     It  is  an  at- 

426     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

tribute  of  the  divine  nature,  and  exactly  that  attri- 
bute which  is  the  most  dreadful  to  the  sinner's  con- 
templation. It  demands  his  punishment,  visits  its 
withering  curse  upon  his  head,  and  raises  the  flames 
of  consuming  wrath  in  the  way  of  his  approach  to 
God.  Nor  does  it  at  all  relieve  the  difficulty  to  say 
that  the  sinner  beholds  the  demands  of  this  awful  at- 
tribute satisfied  by  the  suffering  obedience  of  the  Son 
of  God,  and  from  that  circumstance  derives  the  hope 
of  pardon  and  acceptance.  This  aggravates  the  diffi- 
culty a  thousand-fold.  That  the  essential  righteous- 
ness of  God  could  be  appeased  only  by  the  blood  and 
anguish  of  the  Cross  presents  it  in  a  more  fearful 
light  than  when  it  was  revealed  amidst  the  darkness, 
smoke  and  flame,  the  thunders  and  lightnings,  the 
trumpet  blast  and  the  voice  of  words  of  Sinai's  quak- 
ing mount.  ''If  they  do  these  things  in  the  green 
tree,  what  shall  be  done  in  the  dry?"  If  justice  thus 
dealt  with  God's  beloved  Son,  wdiat  will  it  do  with  the 
conscious  transgressor  of  his  law?  It  cannot  be  the 
intrinsic  righteousness  of  God  requiring  such  a  sacri- 
fice as  that  exhibited  on  the  Cross  which  is  revealed  to 
faith.  It  is  revealed  to  despair.  But  that  the  right- 
eousness produced  by  an  incarnate  God  satisfying  the 
demands  of  God's  essential  righteousness  which  can- 
not be  remitted,  relaxed  or  compromised,  and  satisfy- 
ing them  in  the  room  of  the  sinner — that  this  right- 
eousness is  revealed  in  the  gospel  to  the  faith  of  the 
guilty  as  a  complete  ground  of  acceptance  with  God,  is 
comprehensible.  This  it  is  which  constitutes  the 
gospel  God's  power  to  pardon,  this  which  makes  it 
tidings  of  great  joy  to  those  who  sit  in  hopeless  despair 
at  the  smoking  gate  of  hell.     To  reveal  the  justice  of 

The  Ground  of  Jtistification.  4^7 

God  as  a  ground  of  hope  to  be  apprehended  by  faith 
is  a  form  of  expression  unknown  to  the  Scriptures. 
It  is  what  Christ  has  done  and  suffered  in  obeying  the 
law  which  is  held  up  to  faith  as  the  ground  of  accept- 
ance with  God.     And  as  the  righteousness  of  God  is 
said  to  be  revealed  to  faith,  that  righteousness  must 
be  the  same  with   the    righteousness  of  Christ.     It 
certainly  is  not  the  distinguishing  peculiarity  of  the 
gospel  tiiat  it  reveals  the  justice  of  God,  or  the  grand 
office  of  faith  that  it  receives  that  justice.     The  right- 
eousness of  God,  therefore,  which  is  revealed  to  faith, 
constituting  the  gospel  the  power  of  God  unto  salva- 
tion to  every  one  that  believeth,  cannot  be  the  justice 
of  God.     It  is  preposterous.     Justice  is  rather  God's 
power  unto  damnation.     It  would  be  an  inversion  of 
the  o-race  of  the  gospel,  did  the  just  live  by  faith  in 
the  "justice    of  God.     It   is    true    that   the    Publican 
pleaded    with    God    for    favor    through    atonement 
0/daM,  "but  it  is  certain  that  he  did  not  plead  for  jus- 
tice ;  he  asked  for  mercy.     Nor  is  the  essential  right- 
eousness   of    God    transmuted    by    atonement    into 
uiercv.     It  abides  righteousness  still.     It  was  mercy 
that  provided  the  atonement,  and  it  is  mercy  that  ex- 
tends pardon  to  the  sinner,  in  consistency  with  the 
clainv  of  unchanging  righteousness  fulfilled  by  the 
obedience  of  the  Saviour.     Faith  in  that  obedience, 
as  the  righteousness  provided,  produced,  and  accepted 
by  God,  is  the  required  condition  through  which  the 
sinner's  guilt  is  remitted,  and  his  person  admitted  to 


Secondly,  It  is  sometimes  contended  that  the 
''righteousness  of  God"  which  is  revealed  to  faith  is 
Ihe^'rectoral  righteousness  of  the  divine  administra- 

428     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

tion.*  The  rectoral  righteousness  of  God,  as  the  term 
implies,  is  his  justice  in  the  administration  of  his 
moral  government.  What  is  this  but  the  attribute  of 
justice  in  energy  ad  extra?  It  enforces  the  divine  law 
which  is  a  transcript,  or  formal  expression,  of  his 
moral  perfections.  The  same  course  of  argument, 
consequently,  which  was  employed  in  relation  to  the 
intrinsic  or  essential  righteousness  of  God  will  equally 
apply  to  his  rectoral  righteousness.  But  in  the  case 
of  the  latter  it  becomes  evident  that  righteousness  or 
justice  is  the  actual  rendering  to  every  one  what  is 
his  due.  Were  there  no  creature  in  existence,  God 
would  render  to  himself  what  is  due  in  accordance 
with  his  intrinsic  justice;  and  the  same  attribute 
would  secure  to  each  Person  of  the  Godhead  what 
properly  belongs  to  him.  There  would  be  an  infinite 
reciprocity  in  the  communication  and  the  reception 
of  what  is  just  to  each.  Towards  the  creatures  who 
are  subjects  of  the  moral  government  of  God,  the  at- 
tribute of  justice,  no  longer  confined  to  the  relations 
of  the  Godhead,  is  so  exercised  as  to  render  to  each 
his  due.  This  administration  of  justice,  from  the 
nature  of  the  case,  must  be  perfect,  for  it  is  divine. 
Each  subject  must  receive  exactly  what  is  his  due. 
The  righteous  cannot  be  treated  as  sinful,  nor  the 
sinner  as  righteous.  Either  the  sinner  must  be  pun- 
ished in  his  own  person,  or,  upon  the  supposition  that 
substitution  is  admitted,  in  the  person  of  a  substitute. 
The  rectoral  righteousness,  or  distributive  justice,  of 

^Watson  says:  "  By  the  righteousness  of  God  it  is  also  plain, 
that  his  rectoral  justice  in  the  admiuistration  of  pardon  is  meant, 
which,  of  course,  is  not  thought  capable  of  imputation."  Inst.y 
vol.  ii.,  p.  227,  ff. 

The  Ground  of  Justification.  429 

God  must  be  completely  satisfied,  else  the  divine  gov- 
ernment is  imperfectly  administered. 

Upon  the  Arminian  scheme  a  serious  difficulty  here 
occurs.     It  is  upon  that  scheme    conceded  that  the 
principle  of  substitution  has  been  introduced  into  the 
moral  government  of  God,  and  that  the  atonement 
was  in  its  nature  vicarious.     But,  in  the  first  place,  it 
is  denied  that  Christ  as  the  substitute  assumed  human 
guilt,  and   that  it  was    imputed  to  him  by   God,  as 
Judge.     Dr.  Raymond  says:    "The  notion — held,  to 
be  sure,  by  but  a  very  few — that  the  sins  of  mankind, 
or  any  portion  of  them,  were  imputed  to  Christ — that 
is,  that  he  took  upon  him  our  iniquities  in  such  a 
sense  as  that  he  was  considered  guilty,  or  that  they 
were  accounted  to  him,  or  that  he  suffered  the  pun- 
ishment due  on  account  of  those  sins — in  a  word,  the 
idea  that  the  Son  of  God   died  as  a  culprit,  taking 
the  place  of  culprits  and  having  their  transgressions 
imputed  to  him,  accounted  as  his — we  have  charac- 
terized as  well-nigh  bordering  upon  blasphemy;  it  is, 
to  say  the  least,  a  horrible  thing  to  think  of.     The 
term  impute  cannot,  in  any  good  sense,  be  applied  in 
this  case.      If,  however,  it  be  insisted  upon  that  the 
sins  of   mankind,   or  of   the  elect,   were  imputed  to 
Christ,  the  only  sense  admissible — and  even  in  that 
sense  the    formula   is   eminently  awkward — is,    that 
consequences  of  man's  sins  were  placed  upon  him;  he 
suffered  because  of  sin,  not  at  all  that  he  was  pun- 
ished for  sin,  or  suffered  the  penalty  of  sin."  ^     Now, 
it  is  demanded,  if  this  were  true,  how,  in  accordance 
with  the  rectoral  righteousness  of  God,  Christ  could 
have  suffered  and  died.     Of  course  he  had  no  con- 
^Syst.  TheoL,  vol.  ii.  p.  337. 

430     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

scions  guilt.  Upon  the  supposition  before  us  he  had 
no  imputed  guilt.  As  these  are  the  only  possible 
ways  in  which  one  can  be  guilty,  Christ  had  no  guilt 
at  all — he  was  perfectly  and  in  every  sense  innocent. 
Did  rectoral  justice  render  to  him  his  due,  when  as 
innocent  he  suffered  and  died  ?  It  may  be  said  that 
he  freely  consented  to  suffer  and  die.  But  divine  jus- 
tice could  not  have  consented;  and  as  the  Son  of  God 
was  infinitely  just,  he  could  not  have  consented.  To 
say  that  men  sometimes  elect  to  suffer  and  die  for 
others  does  not  in  the  least  relieve  the  gigantic  diffi- 
culty; for  no  man  has  the  right  to  suffer  and  die  for 
others  unless  it  be  his  duty  to  do  so.  But  the  Son  of 
God  was,  in  the  first  instance,  under  no  obligation  to 
offer  himself  as  a  sacrifice  for  sinners.  Further,  to 
say  that  Christ  consented  to  suffer  and  die  is  to  sup- 
pose a  covenant  between  God  the  Father  and  God  the 
Son.  This,  however,  is  denied  by  Arminians,  who 
admit  only  a  covenant  between  God  and  men.  The 
difficulty  is  insuperable  upon  the  Arminian  scheme. 
The  rectoral  righteousness  of  God  was  overslaughed 
or  thrown  out  of  account  in  relation  to  the  stupen- 
dous fact  of  Christ's  sufferings  and  death.  And  yet 
it  is  contended  that  the  rectoral  rio'hteousness  of  God 
is  revealed,  declared,  manifested  by  the  gospel  through 
the  atonement  of  Christ !  The  abettor  of  the  Moral 
Influence  theory,  which  discards  the  distributive  jus- 
tice of  God,  may  be  consistent  in  maintaining  that 
the  sufferings  and  death  of  Christ  were  a  sacrifice 
made  by  love  with  which  justice  had  nothing  to 
do;  but  as  the  Arminian  admits  retributive  justice 
and  yet  denies  that  Christ  was  putatively  guilty,  he 
is  involved  in  flat  self-contradiction.     Either  rectoral 

The  Groiuid  of  Justification.  431 

justice  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  sufferings  and 
death  of  Christ,  or  it  had  to  do  with  them.  If  the 
former,  the  Arminian  doctrine  under  consideration — 
namely,  that  the  "righteousness  of  God"  which  is 
revealed  to  faith  is  his  rectoral  righteousness  mani- 
fested by  the  gospel,  is  fatuously  absurd.  If  the  lat- 
ter, the  rectoral  righteousness  of  God  did  not  render 
Christ  his  due  as  a  perfectly  innocent  being.  On 
either  horn  the  Arminian  doctrine  is  impaled.  In  the 
second  place,  if  the  imputation  of  the  sinner's  guilt 
to  Christ  as  his  Substitute  is  denied,  it  follows  that 
his  guilt  remains  upon  himself.  It  is  in  no  way  re- 
moved. But,  it  is  contended  that  he  is  pardoned,  if 
he  believes  in  Christ.  How,  then,  in  accordance  with 
rectoral  righteousness,  does  he  receive  his  due?  Rec- 
toral righteousness  absolutely  requires  the  punishment 
of  guilt.  There  is  no  principle  clearer  in  the  moral 
government  of  God  than  the  inseparable  connection 
of  guilt  and  punishment.  To  say  that  he  is  pardoned 
is  to  say  that  his  guilt  has  not  been  punished.  For, 
if  pardoned,  he  is  not  consciously  punished;  and  if 
Christ,  as  his  Substitute,  was  not  punished,  his  guilt 
has  in  no  sense  been  punished.  The  inseparable  con- 
nection betw^een  guilt  and  punishment  no  longer  ex- 
ists; rectoral  justice  has  been  defrauded  of  its  rights. 
The  sinner  has  not  had  his  due  rendered  to  him.  If 
Christ  was  not  the  Substitute  of  the  sinner,  and  if  his 
death  was  not  a  penalty  substituted  for  the  death- 
penalty  due  the  sinner,  but  simply,  as  we  have  seen  it 
stated,  a  substitute  for  the  penalty,  then  the  penalty 
demanded  by  rectoral  justice  has  been  dispensed  with. 
For  it  is  as  clear  as  day  that  the  penalty  has  not  been 
endured  at  all:  not  by  the  sinner — he  is  pardoned;  not 

432      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism, 

by  Christ — he  endured  no  penalty.  The  rectoral 
righteousness  of  God  may  have  its  precept,  but  in  this 
case  is  shorn  of  its  penalty:  a  mutilated  righteous- 
ness, surely!  Yet  the  rectoral  righteousness  of  God 
is  that  which  is  revealed  to  faith  in  the  gospel,  seeing 
the  sinner  is  pardoned  because  it  has  been  fulfilled  in 
the  suffering  and  death  of  Christ! 

Thirdly^  It  is  maintained  that  the  "righteousness 
of  God"  which  is  revealed  from  faith  to  faith,  which 
without  the  law  is  manifested,  is  God's  method  of 
justification.  Says  Watson:  "The  phrase,  the  right- 
eousness of  God,  in  this  [Rom.  iii.  21,  22]  and  several 
other  passages  in  St.  Paul's  writings,  obviously  means 
God's  righteous  method  of  justifying  sinners  through 
the  atonement  of  Christ,  and,  instrumentally,  by 
faith."  ^  This  is  hardly  a  true  construction  of  the 
apostle's  words. 

In  the  first  place,  there  would  be  no  progress  in 
the  statement:  it  would  return  upon  itself.  For  it 
w^ould  amount  to  this:  God's  method  of  justification 
ii  through  faith  in  his  method  of  justification.  The 
question  still  presses.  What  is  God's  method  of  justifi- 
cation? If  one  should  ask  by  what  means  he  might 
reach  a  certain  place,  it  would  be  a  poor  answer  to 
tell  him.  Take  the  road  that  leads  to  that  place.  The 
sinner  asks,  What  is  God's  method  of  justification? 
or,  what  is  the  same  thing.  How  shall  I  be  justified? 
It  would  be  an  equally  poor  answer  to  tell  him.  Ac- 
cept by  faith  God's  method  of  justification.  But  if 
the  answer  should  be,  God  has  revealed  the  righteous- 
ness of  Christ  to  faith;  accept  that  righteousness  by 
faith,  and  thou  shalt  be  justified,  it  would  be  satis- 
^Inst.,  vol.  ii.  p.  228. 

The  Ground  of  Justijicatiojt.  433 

factory,  and  it  is  the  only  satisfactory  answer  that 
can  be  given  to  the  inqniry.  To  reply  to  it  by  say- 
ing, The  righteousness  of  God  is  his  method  of  justi- 
fying the  sinner;  accept  that  method  by  faith,  and 
thou  shalt  be  justified,  would  be  tautological  and  to 
no  purpose.      Nothing  would  be  explained. 

In  the  second  place,  righteousness  without  works  is 
said  to  be  imputed:  ^'Even  as  David  also  describeth 
the  blessedness  of  the  man,  unto  whom  God  imputetli 
righteousness  without  works."  ^  But  it  is  out  of  tjie 
question  to  speak  of  a  method  of  justification  being 
imputed.  To  this  the  Armlnian  will  reply  by  saying 
that  it  is  faith  which  is  described  as  the  righteous- 
ness without  works,  and  it  is  declared  that  faith  is 
imputed.  Now  we  have  just  heard  Watson  saying 
that  God's  righteousness  is  his  method  of  justifying 
the  sinner.  It  seems  then  that  there  are  two  justify- 
ing righteousnesses:  God's  method  of  justification, 
and  faith.  This  is  utterly  inadmissible.  Either  it  is 
God's  method  of  justification  which  is  the  righteous- 
ness without  works  that  is  imputed,  and  that  is 
absurd;  or  it  is  faith  which  is  that  righteousness,  and 
that  will  be  disproved  as  the  argument  is  developed, 
jNIean while,  it  cannot  be  allowed  to  the  Armiuian  to 
play  fast  and  loose  with  the  all-important  terms yV/j//- 
fying  righteousness.  He  cannot  in  one  breath,  as 
Watson  does,  signify  by  those  terms  God's  rectoral 
justice,  God's  method  of  justification,  and  the  sinner's 
faith.  This  is  *' confusion  worse  confounded."  The 
righteousness  which  justifies  cannot  possibly  be  all 
three,  or  any  two,  of  them.  If  it  be  one  of  them,  let 
the  Armiuian  adhere  to  that  one  alone,  and  he  will  at 

^  Rom.  iv.  6. 

434     Calviiiisiu  and  Evangelical  Ar'minianism. 

least  be  consistent  with  himself,  however  inconsistent 
with  Scripture. 

In  the  third  place,  the  righteousness  which  is  of 
God  by  faith  is  contrasted  with  the  righteousness 
which  is  one^s  own.  But  there  would  be  no  meaning 
in  the  comparison  of  one's  personal  righteousness 
with  God's  method  of  justification.  Let  us  hear  Paul: 
^' Yea,  doubtless,  and  I  count  all  things  but  loss  for 
the  excellency  of  the  knowledge  of  Christ  Jesus  my 
Lord:  for  whom  I  have  suffered  the  loss  of  all  things, 
and  do  count  them  but  dung,  that  I  may  win  Christ, 
and  be  found  in  him,  not  having  mine  own  righteous- 
ness which  is  of  the  law,  but  that  which  is  through  the 
faith  of  Christ,  the  righteousness  which  is  of  God  by 
faith.''  ^  By  his  own  righteousness  he  certainly  could 
not  have  intended  his  own  method  of  justification,  but 
his  conscious,  subjective  obedience  to  the  law;  and 
that  he  should  have  contrasted  that  with  the  obedi- 
ence of  Christ  is  intelligible.  The  former  could  con- 
stitute no  ground,  the  latter  is  a  perfect  ground,  of 
justification.  The  same  comparison  is  instituted  by 
Paul  in  describing  the  zeal  of  his  countr>anen  which 
was  not  according  to  knowledge.  ^'For  they  being 
ignorant  of  God's  righteousness,  and  going  about  to 
establish  their  owm  righteousness,  have  not  submitted 
themselves  unto  the  righteousness  of  God."^  By 
their  own  righteousness  is  meant  their  legal  obedi- 
ence, '  ^ for  Moses  describeth  the  righteousness  which 
is  of  the  law.  That  the  man  which  doeth  those  things 
shall  live  by  them."^  Their  legal  obedience  is  con- 
trasted, not  with  the  divine  method  of  justification, 
but  with  the  obedience  of  Christ  by  w^hich  he  is  the 
*  Phil.  iii.  8,  9.  ^j^om.  x.  3.  ^/<^.,  5- 

The  Ground  of  Justifualion.  435 

end  of  tlie  law  for  righteousness  to  every  one  tliat 

believeth.  rM    ■  ^   • 

In  the  fourth  place,  our  sin  imputed   to  Christ  is 
contrasted   with   his   righteousness    imputed    to   us. 
"For  he  hath  made  him  to  be  sin  for  us,  who  knew 
,10  sin;  that  we  might  be  made  the  righteousness  ot 
God  in  him.'"     Will  it  be  said  that  Christ  was  made 
God's  method  of  condemnation  for  us,  that  we  might 
be  made  God's  method  of  justification  in  him?     That 
^vould  be  the  natural  antithesis,  if  the  righteousness 
of  God  mean  God's  method  of  justification.     It  most 
certainly  cannot  here  mean  faith,  for  it  would  be  as- 
serted that  we  are   made  faith  in  him  !     Both   these 
constructions  are  so  outrageous  that  they  are  rejected 
bv  Arminians  themselves.     Refusing  to  see  the  doc- 
trines of  imputed  guilt    and   imputed  righteousness 
which  are  so  plain  on  the  face  of  the  passage  that  a 
blind  man  might  perceive  them,  they  say  that  Christ 
was  made  a  sin-offering  for  us.     Well  then,  we  were 
made  a  righteousness-offering  to  God  m  him.     That 
would  be  the  antithesis  required.     No;  we  are  justi- 
fied in  him.     Between  a  sin-offering  for  us  and  being 
iustified    in    him,    what   conceivable   comparison    is 
there'     But  let  us  not  be  hasty.     Let  us  see  whether 
some  one  of  the  various  Arminian  interpretations  of 
the  phrase  "righteousness  of  God"  will  not  meet  the 
demands   of  the   case?     Are  we  made   the  essential 
ricrhteousness  of  God  in   Christ?     Are   we  made  the 
rectoral  righteousness  of  God  in  him  ?     Are  we  made 
God's  method  of  justification  in  him?     Are  we  made 
faith  in  him?     Are  we  made  all  these  in  him?     No, 
answers  the  Arminian,  we  are  justified  in  him.     It 

^2  Cor.  V.  21. 

436     Calvinism  and  Evaiigelical  Arminianisni. 

follows  that  the  righteousness  of  God  here  spoken  of 
is  neither  God's  essential  righteousness,  nor  his  rec- 
toral  righteousness,  nor  his  method  of  justification, 
nor  faith,  nor  all  these  together.  What,  then,  can  it 
be?  The  answer  is,  Justified  and  sanctified.  So  it 
would  appear  that  justified  and  sanctified'  is  another 
of  the  senses  in  which  the  phrase  righteousness  of 
God  is  employed. 

A  parallel  passage  is  that  in  which  Christ  is  de- 
clared to  be  made  of  God  to  us — righteousness  :  "But 
of  him  are  ye  in  Christ  Jesus,  who  of  God  is  made 
unto  us  wisdom,  and  righteousness,  and  sanctifica- 
tion,  and  redemption."^  It  will  scarcely  be  contended 
that  Christ  is  of  God  made  unto  us  God's  method  of 
justification.  If  it  be  asked,  Who  ever  asserted  such 
an  absurdity?  it  may  be  inquired  in  reph%  How  then 
is  Christ  made  righteousness  to  us?  Is  he  made  to 
us  God's  essential  riorhteousness,  or  his  rectoral  rio^ht- 
eousness,  or  faith?  Are  these  suppositions  too  ab- 
surd to  ascribe  to  the  Arminian?  If  so,  the  question 
recurs.  How  is  Christ  made  righteousness  to  us? 
The  answer  cannot  be.  Because  he  is  our  sanctifica- 
tion,  for  the  plain  reason  that  in  this  passage  right- 
eousness is  discriminated  from  sanctification.  It  will 
hardly  do  to  say  that  he  is  made  to  us  wisdom,  and 
sanctification,  and  sanctification  and  redemption.  A 
first  and  a  second  blessing  of  sanctification  are  surely 
not  taught  here.  In  what  sense  then  is  Christ  made 
righteousness  to  us?  There  is  but  one  other  answer. 
It  is  that  of  the  Calvinist :  Christ's  righteousness  is 
ours  by  imputation. 

Another  passage  which  cannot  be  harmonized  with 

^  See  Clarke  and  Benson  in  loc.  ^  i  Cor.  i.  30. 

The  Ground  of  Justification.  437 

the  view  under  consideration  is  the  powerful  one  in 
Jeremiah:'  "Behold,  the  days  come,  saith  the  Lord, 
that  I  will  raise  unto  David  a  righteous  Branch,  and 
a  King  shall  reign  and  prosper,  and  shall  execute 
judgment  and  justice  in  the  earth.  In  his  days 
Judah  shall  be  saved,  and  Israel  shall  dwell  safely  ; 
and  this  is  his  name  whereby  he  shall  be  called, 
can  be  no  doubt  that  this  statement  refers  to  Christ. 
How  he  could  be  called  Jehovah,  God's  method  of 
justification  made  ours,  it  is  impossible  to  see.  Even 
John  Wesley,  in  his  celebrated  sermon  on  these 
words,  acknowledged  that  the  doctrine  of  Christ's 
imputed  righteousness  is,  in  a  certain  sense,  taught 
in  them,  and  he  defined  that  righteousness  to  be  what 
Christ  did  and  suffered — what  is  usually  termed  his 
active  and  passive  obedience.  But  from  Richard 
Watson  to  the  present  day,  the  Evangelical  Arminian 
theology  has  gone  beyond  its  leader  and  discarded  the 
phrase  ijnputed  righteousness  of  Christ.  Be  the  inter- 
pretation of  these  glorious  words  what  it  may,  it  most 
assuredly  cannot  be  :  The  Lord,  our  divine  method 
of  justification!  No  more  can  it  be  our  divine  essen- 
tial righteousness,  or  our  divine  rectoral  righteous- 
ness, or  our  faith. 

Still  another  statement  may  be  emphasized.  It  is 
that  in  which  Gabriel  tells  Daniel,  "Seventy  weeks 
are  determined  upon  thy  people,  and  upon  thy  holy 
city,  to  finish  the  transgression,  and  to  make  an  end 
of  sins,  and  to  make  reconciliation  for  iniquity,  and 
to  bring  in  everlasting  righteousness."'  Illustrious 
testimonv  to  the  obedience  of  Christ!    Who  can  resist 

^  Jer.  xxiii.  5,  6.  '^  i  Dan,  ix.  24. 

43S     Cal-jinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

the  conviction  that  the  righteousness  here  signalized 
is  the  "righteousness  of  God"  which  Paul  magnified 
as  the  fundamental  feature  of  a  sinner's  justification, 
the  revelation  of  which  constituted  the  gospel  the 
power  of  God  unto  salvation,  redeemed  it  from  con- 
tempt and  rendered  it  an  object  of  glorying  in  the 
splendid  capital  of  the  Roman  empire?  And  if  this 
be  so,  the  everlasting  righteousness,  the  bringing  in 
of  which  was  foretold  by  an  angelic  prophet,  cannot 
be  regarded  as  God's  method  of  justification,  unless  it 
be  held  that  Jesus  first  brought  in  a  method  of  justi- 
fication which  had  been  employed  since  the  promise 
of  redemption  was  delivered  to  Adam  and  Bve,  and 
unless  it  be  maintained  that  God  will  be  everlastingly 
employed  in  justifying  sinners  after  the  sentences  of 
the  Final  Judgment  shall  have  forever  sealed  the 
doom  of  men.  An  everlasting  method  of  justification 
is  something  hard  to  be  understood,  except  it  be  by 
those  who  regard  anything  more  tolerable  than  im- 
puted righteousness;  but  that  an  obedience  of  a 
divine-human  Substitute,  brought  in  when  he  suffered 
and  died  for  his  people  on  earth,  should,  according  to 
the  purpose  of  God,  have  grounded  their  justification 
from  the  beginning  of  sin,  and  will  everlastingly  con- 
tinue to  ground  their  justified  standing  in  heaven, — 
this  is  not  only  intelligible,  but  is  the  most  glorious 
doctrine  of  the  glorious  gospel  of  the  blessed  God. 
The  wonder  is  that  any  Protestant,  that  any  believ- 
ing sinner  conscious  of  the  sin  that  mingles  even 
with  his  faith,  should  ever  question  it.  This,  and 
this  alone,  is  the  righteousness  which  finishes  trans- 
gression, makes  an  end  of  sins,  and  effects  a  recon- 
ciliation  for   iniquity,  that   perpetuates   the  light  of 

The  Ground  of  Jtistificaiion.  439 

God's  face  and  forever  removes  the  shadow  of  con- 
tinoencv  from  the  bliss  of  heaven.  So  mnch  for  he 
position'  that  the  righteousness  of  God  wuhout  the 
law,  which  is  revealed  from  faith  to  is  God  s 
method  ofjustifying  the  sinner. 

Fourthly,  It  is,  with  a  remarkable  versatdity  of  n- 
terpretation,  held  that  the  righteousness  of  God  is  the 
riohteousness  of  faith.     Mr.   Fletcher  says  of      our 
o;n  ri<,4iteousness  of  faith":  "We  assert  that  it  ,s 
the   righteousness   of  God.'"     Dr.    Ralston   in   pro- 
fessedlv  discussing   the  question,  What  is  the  nght- 
eonsness  of  God?  quotes  with  approval  from  a  learned 
commentator  a  passage   in   which    this  view  is  ex- 
messed       "In    reference,"     he    observes,        to    this 
Urase,  which  occnrs  in  Rom.  i.  17,  Whitby  remarks: 
•This  phrase,  in  St.  Paul's  style,  doth  always  signify 
the  ri-hteousness  of  faith  in  Christ  Jesns's  dying  or 
sheddhighis   blood    for   lis.'"       And    then    Ralston 
coes  on  to  shift  his  terms,  and  curiously  ital.cses^^the 
scriptural  words  which  annihilate  this  view.        To 
this  "  he  continues,  "we  might  add  the  testimony  of 
Paul  himself,  who,   in  Rom.  iii.   22,  gives  precisely 
the    same   comment   upon   the    phrase   in   question. 
'Even,'  savs  he,  'the  righteousness  of  God,  which  is 
hy  faith  off  cms  Christ. " "     That  is,  the  righteous- 
ness of  God  is  the  righteousness  of  faith,  and   the 
ricrhteonsness  of  faith  is  the  righteousness  which  is 
bv   faith      This  is   not    Paul's  confusion;    it   is   Ur. 
Ralston's      He  seemed  unconscious  that  a  righteous- 
ness which  inheres  in  faith  and  a  righteousness  which 
comes  by  faith  are  not,  ^n^^be^jh^^amejhmg. 

^^Vorks,  New  York,  1849.  vol.  i.  p.  3^3- 
'^Elcm.  Diviu.,  p.  402. 

440    Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianisnt. 

That  the  righteousness  of  God  is  the  righteousness 
that  justifies  not  even  the  Arminians  deny.  That 
faith  is  the  righteousness  that  justifies,  they  vehe- 
mently contend;  for,  was  not  ^Abraham's  faith  im- 
puted to  him  for  righteousness?  Was  he  not  right- 
eous because  he  believed?  His  faith  was  the  right- 
eousness imputed  to  him.  If  this  is  not  their 
doctrine,  language  can  convey  no  meaning.  When 
the  relation  of  faith  to  justification  comes  in  its  place 
in  the  general  scheme  of  the  argument  to  be  ex- 
amined, this  doctrine  will  be  more  particularly  con- 
sidered. At  present,  it  is  relevant  to  prove  that  the 
righteousness  of  faith,  or  faith  as  righteousness,  can- 
not be  the  righteousness  of  God.  The  appeal  will 
be  taken  directly  to  the  Scriptures,  and  if  they  do 
not  show  this,  the  plainest  declarations  are  incapable 
of  being  understood. 

Rom.  i.  17:  "For  therein  is  the  righteousness  of 
God  revealed  from  faith  to  faith."  If  faith  be  the 
righteousness  of  God,  the  statement  would  be  exactly 
equivalent  to  this  :  the  righteousness  of  God  is  re- 
vealed from  the  righteousness  of  God  to  the  right- 
eousness of  God  ;  or,  faith  is  revealed  from  faith  to 
faith.  This  cannot  be  the  apostle's  statement.  If  it 
be  repudiated  by  the  Arminian,  it  may  be  asked,  For 
what  reason  ?  Is  it  urged  that  the  righteousness  of 
God  is  different  from  the  righteousness  of  faith  ?  The 
difficulty  is  only  changed,  not  removed,  for  the  state- 
ment would  be:  the  righteousness  of  God  is  revealed 
from  the  righteousness  of  faith  to  the  righteousness 
of  faith.  What  meaning  can  be  attached  to  such  an 
utterance?  If  the  righteousness  of  God  and  the 
righteousness  of  faith  are  different  expressions  for  the 

The  Ground  of  Justification.  441 

same  thing  the  first  difficulty  remains:  God's  right- 
eousness is  certainly  not  revealed  to  itself;  neither  is 
faith  revealed  to  itself.  So  far  as  this  cardinal  state- 
ment of  the  mode  of  justification  is  concerned,  it  is  per- 
fectly clear  that  faith  is  not  the  righteousness  of  God. 

Rom.  iii.  21,  22:  ''But  now  the  righteousness  of 
God  without  the  law  is  manifested,  being  witnessed 
by  the  law  and  the  prophets ;  even  the  righteousness 
of  God  which  is  by  faith  of  Jesus  Christ,  unto  all  and 
upon  all  them  that  believe."  If  faith  be  the  right- 
eousness of  God,  the  statement  here  would  be  tanta- 
mount to  this:  the  righteousness  of  God  which  is  by 
the  righteousness  of  God;  or  faith  which  is  by  faith. 
This  cannot  be  escaped  except  by  a  denial  of  the  posi- 
tion that  faith  is  the  righteousness  of  God — the  very 
affirmation  resisted  in  these  remarks.  Moreover,  what 
sense  can  be  extracted  from  the  sentence:  faith  is  unto 
all  and  upon  all  them  that  believe?  Yet,  if  faith  be 
the  righteousness  of  God,  that  sentence  is  virtually 
put  into  the  apostle's  mouth. 

Phil.  iii.  9:  "And  be  found  in  him,  not  having 
mine  own  righteousness,  which  is  of  the  law,  but  that 
which  is  through  the  faith  of  Christ,  the  righteous- 
ness which  is  of  God  by  faith."  The  apostle  contrasts 
his  own  riehteousness  which  is  of  the  law^  with  an- 
other  righteousness  which  is  tlirough  faith.  That 
other  rio-hteousness  he  describes  as  that  which  is  of 
God,  and  as  imparted  through  faith  or  attained  by 
faith.  Now,  if  faith  be  the  righteousness  of  God,  he 
is  represented  as  desiring  to  have  that  faith  which  is 
through  the  faith  of  Christ,  the  faith  which  is  of  God 
by  faith.  This  construction  of  the  solemn  language 
of    Paul    is    so    palpably    inadmissible,   that  we    are 

442     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

obliged  to  reject  the  view  that  the  righteousness  of 
God  is  faith,  or,  what  is  the  same,  that  the  righteous- 
ness of  God  is  the  righteousness  of  faith — the  right- 
eousness which  faith  is  reckoned  to  be. 

The  question  whether  faith,  in  relation  to  justifica- 
tion, 'be  any  righteousness  at  all,  legal  or  evangelical, 
imputed  or  inherent,  will  be  considered  in  another 
place;  but  the  passages  of  Scripture  which  have  been 
adduced  incontestably  prove  that  the  righteousness 
of  God  which  is  revealed  from  faith  to  faith,  which  is 
through  faith,  which  is  by  faith,  and  which  is  unto 
all  and  upon  all  that  believe,  cannot  be  faith  itself  or 
any  righteousness  involved  in  it. 

It  has  now  been  shown  that  the  righteousness  of 
God  which  is  revealed  to  faith  by  the  gospel  is  not 
God^s  intrinsic  or  essential  righteousness,  nor  his  rec- 
toral  righteousness  by  which  he  administers  his  moral 
government,  nor  his  method  of  justification,  nor  faith. 
What,  then,  is  it  but  the  vicarious  righteousness  of 
Christ — his  obedience  to  the  precept  and  the  penalty 
of  the  law  in  the  sinner's  stead,  wrought  out  in  his 
life  and  in  his  death?  The  Arminian  holds  that  the 
ground  of  justification  is  the  merit  of  Christ,  but  fails 
to  make  the  righteousness  of  Christ  that  righteous- 
ness of  God  which  faith  apprehends  as  the  ground  of 
acceptance.  He  is  right  in  general,  and  wrong  in 

2.  To  whom  is  the  merit  of  Christ,  according  to 
the  Arminian,  made  available  as  a  ground  of  justifi- 
cation? Who  stand  upon  that  ground?  This  ques- 
tion is  relevant  because  its  answer  throws  some  light 
upon  the  whole  Arminian  conception  of  justification. 
It  behooves  to  be  considered  somewhere,  and  it  may 

The  Ground  of  Justificatioii.  443 

be  well  to  take  it  up  here.  Anninian  divines  and 
commentators  generally  concur  in  holding  that  the 
guilt  of  Adam's  sin  is  removed  at  birth  from  all  men. 
Tliey  differ,  it  is  true,  in  regard  to  the  use  of  the 
term  guilt  in  connection  with  the  first  sin  ;  some  con- 
tending that  all  men  are  in  some  sense  guilty  in  re- 
spect to  that  sin,  and  therefore  suffer  the  penal  conse- 
quences of  it.  As  punishment  necessarily  supposes 
guilt,  men  universally  contracted  guilt  in  Adam. 
Others  hold  that  men  suffer  the  consequences  of 
Adam's  sin,  but  that  those  consequences  are  not  penal. 
Raymond  scoffs  at  the  notion  that  men  are  guilty  in 
respect  to  Adam's  sin  in  any  proper  sense.  But  al- 
though the  tendency  of  the  Evangelical  Arminian 
theology  seems  to  be  now  in  the  latter  direction,  it 
can  scarcely  be  regarded  as  fairly  representing  the 
standard  views  of  that  theology  as  a  whole.  Be  that 
as  it  may,  all  concur  in  admitting,  what  only  Pelagians 
and  Infidels  deny,  that  men  are  in  some  way  impli- 
cated in  the  Fall  of  Adam.  This  connection  with 
the  first  sin  is  destroyed,  in  the  case  of  all  men,  by 
the  effect  of  Christ's  atonement.  They  are  absolved 
by  the  blood  of  Christ  from  the  guilt  (taken  strictly 
or  loosely)  of  Adam's  sin.  They  are,  so  far  as  their 
connection  with  that  sin  is  concerned,  pardoned; 
and  as,  according  to  the  Arminian  doctrine,  justifica- 
tion is  exactly  pardon,  they  are  justified  from  that 
guilt.  Indeed,  this  is,  in  terms,  contended  for  in  the 
expositioi>s  of  the  apostle's  comparison  of  Adam's 
disobedience  and  Christ's  righteousness  in  the  fifth 
chapter  of  Romans.  We  have,  then,  the  justification 
of  all  men  at  birth  from  the  guilt  of  original  sin. 

444     Cali'inism  and  Evangelical  Ainninianism. 

In  the  fiiTt  place,  this  necessarily  supposes  two 
justifications,  separated  by  an  interval  of  time.  The 
case  of  infants  dying  in  infancy  being  left  ont  of  ac- 
connt,  those  who  reach  matnrity,  and  who  believe  on 
Christ,  were  first  jnstified  at  birth  from  the  gnilt  of 
original  sin,  and  afterwards,  npon  exercising  faith, 
are  jnstified  from  the  gnilt  of  their  conscious,  actual 

In  the  second  place,  until  the  adult  believes  on 
Christ,  he  is  a  partially  justified  man  ;  for  he  has 
been,  confessedly,  justified  from  the  guilt  of  Adam's 
sin.  How  is  this  made  consistent  with  the  position 
that  justification  is  conditioned  upon  faith?  If  it  be 
replied  that  only  justification  from  the  guilt  of  actual 
sins  is  so  conditioned,  it  is  demanded  upon  what 
scriptural  ground  his  justification  is  thus  split  into 
parts — the  one  conditioned,  the  other  unconditioned, 
by  faith? 

In  the  third  place,  should  the  adult  die  without  be- 
lieving in  Christ,  he  dies  justified  in  part  and  unjus- 
tified in  part,  partly  pardoned  and  partly  condemned; 
pardoned  for  the  guilt  of  original  sin,  condemned  for 
that  of  actual.  But  as  actual  sin  springs  from  the 
principle  of  original,  he  is  condemned  for  a  sin  the 
guilt  of  which  supposes  a  sin  which  has  been  par- 
doned. If  not,  the  man  must,  like  Adam,  have  from 
innocence  fallen  into  sin,  since  he  must  have  been  in- 
nocent— free  from  guilt — in  the  interval  between  his 
birth  when  the  guilt  of  Adam's  sin  was  removed  and 
his  first  voluntary,  conscious,  actual  sin.  This,  how- 
ever, is  denied,  and  no  wonder;  for  were  it  true  there 
would  be  as  many  falls  from  innocence  into  sin,  like 
that  of  the  first  man,   as  there  have  been,   are,   and 

The  GroH7td  of  Justification.  445 

will  be  human  beings  born  of  ordinary  generation. 
But  it  must  be  so,  if  the  premise  be  true  that  the 
guilt  of  Adam's  sin  is  non-imputed  to  every  soul  of 
man,  at  his  birth.  He  begins  life  innocent,  for  the 
guilt  of  the  first  sin  is  pardoned,  and  no  infant  is  ca- 
pable of  contracting  guilt  by  conscious  transgression. 
If  it  be  still  contended  that  the  man  does  not  fall  from 
innocence  when  he  commits  actual  sin,  because  the 
principle  of  depravity  is  in  him  and  occasions  actual 
sin,  it  is  insisted  upon  that  he  must  be  innocent  since 
he  is  free  from  all  guilt.  And  then  the  answer  is 
still  further  insufficient,  for  the  reason  that  it  is  im- 
possible to  see  how  freedom  from  all  guilt  and  the 
principle  of  corruption  can  co-exist.  If  it  be  sup- 
posed that  the  man  loses  the  justification  which  was 
secured  for  him  by  the  atonement,  it  is  replied  that 
the  Arminian  is  not  at  liberty  to  make  that  supposi- 
tion; for  the  precariousness  of  justification  for  which 
he  contends  results  from  the  contingent  exercise  of 
faith.  One  who  has  been  justified  by  faith  may  cease 
to  be  in  a  justified  state  because  he  fails  to  exercise 
faith:  the  condition  gone,  the  thing  conditioned  goes 
with  it.  But  here  is  a  justification  which  was  not 
conditioned  upon  faith,  as  no  infant  at  birth  can  exer- 
cise faith.  It  cannot,  therefore,  fail,  since  the  uncer- 
tain condition  of  continuance  is  non-existent.  Given 
without  faith,  why  should  it  not  continue  without  it? 
The  only  relief  from  this  difficulty  would  seem  to 
lie  in  a  theory  akin  to  that  of  Placseus,  who  held  that 
the  imputation  of  Adam's  guilt  is  mediated  through 
conscious  sin.  So,  although  that  guilt  has  been 
removed,  ipso  facto^  through  the  virtue  of  the  atone- 
ment, it  may  be  incurred  afresh  by  actual  sin.     But 

446      Calvinisi7i  and  Evangelical  Arminianis)n. 

Placseus  did  not  hold  that  Adam's  sin  was  in  any 
sense  directly  entailed  npon  his  posterity,  and  conse- 
quently could  not  have  maintained  that  it  is  removed 
by  virtue  of  the  atonement  from  all  men  at  birth. 
The  Arminian  has  to  account  for  the  re-incurring  of 
a  cancelled  obligation.  If  he  decline  that  office,  the 
difficulty  returns  of  two  justifications,  with  the  con- 
sequences by  which  that  view  is  embarrassed. 

The  Arminian  doctrine  broadens  the  application  of 
the  ground  of  justification  beyond  the  warrant  of 
Scripture.  It  places  in  part  upon  it  the  whole  race 
of  man,  many  of  whom  never  hear  of  its  existence; 
while  many  others  of  them,  who  know  of  it  through 
the  gospel,  fail  to  receive  any  benefit  from  it,  but  are 
swept  away  from  it  by  the  tempestuous  floods  of  sin. 
The  Calvinistic  doctrine  of  a  virtual  justification 
through  the  representation  of  his  people  by  Christ, 
and  an  actual,  conscious  justification  through  faith, 
is  not  liable  to  such  objections.  It  is  self-consistent, 
walking  in  a  narrow  way,  indeed,  but  one  wdiich 
surely  leads  to  life.  No  one  is  represented  as  being 
only  in  part  on  the  Rock  of  Ages,  and  every  one  who 
was  ever  wholly  upon  it  remains  there,  unshaken  by 
the  vicissitudes  of  life  and  the  stormy  agitations  of 
death  and  judgment. 

3.  In  connection  with  the  point  last  noticed,  of  the 
extent  to  which  the  ground  or  meritorious  cause  of 
justification  is  applied,  the  question  occurs,  What  is 
its  result  so  far  as  probation  is  concerned?  It  is  one 
of  momentous  importance.  As  the  subject  of  proba- 
tion is  rarely  handled  with  anything  like  thorough- 
ness in  systems  of  divinity,  and  as  it  deserves  to  be 
looked  at  in  all  its  bearings,  let  us  contemplate  it, 

The  Ground  of  Jiistificalion.  447 

first,  in  relation  to  the  condition  of  man  nnder  the 
scheme  of  natnral  religion,  and  secondly,  in  respect 
to  his  state  as  afFected  by  redemption. 

Fh'si^  What  was  the  natnre  of  man's  probation,  so 
far  as  his  relation  to  Adam  was  concerned?  To  this 
qnestion  Evangelical  Arminian  theologians  give  no 
consistent  answer.  It  were  idle  to  attempt  the  formn- 
lation  of  any  doctrine  npon  this  point  from  their  con- 
fused and  heterogeneous  utterances.  Some  citations 
will  be  furnished,  which  will  serve  to  put  this  allega- 
tion beyond  doubt.  Says  Wesley:  "In  Adam  ^//rt'/^</, 
all  human  kind,  all  the  children  of  men  who  were 
then  in  Adam's  loins.  The  natural  consequence  of 
this  is,  that  every  one  descended  from  him  comes 
into  the  world  spiritually  dead,  dead  to  God,  wholly 
dead  in  sin :  entirely  void  of  the  life  of  God,  void  of 
the  image  of  God,  of  all  that  righteons7iess  and  holi- 
ness wherein  Adam  was  created."  '  "Unless  in  x^dam 
all  had  died,  being  in  the  loins  of  their  first  parent, 
every  descendant  of  Adam,  every  child  of  man,  must 
have  personally  answered  for  himself  toGod. "  ^  "But 
it  is  the  covenant  oi grace ^  which  God  through  Christ 
hath  established  with  men  in  all  ages  (as  well  before 
and  under  the  Jewish  dispensation,  as  since  God  was 
manifest  in  the  flesh),  which  St.  Paul  here  opposes  to 
the  covenant  of  works  made  with  Adam,  while  in 
paradise."^  "One  thing  more  was  indispensably  re- 
quired by  the  righteousness  of  the  law,  namely,  that 
this  universal  obedience,  this  perfect  holiness  both  of 
heart  and  life,  should  be  perfectly  uninterrupted  also, 

^  Senn.  on  the  New  Birth. 

^Sei-m.  on  God's  Love  to  Fallen  Man. 

^Serni.  on  the  Righteousness  of  Faith. 

448     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

should  continue  without  any  intermission,  from  the 
moment  when  God  created  man,  and  breathed  into 
his  nostrils  the  breath  of  life,  until  the  days  of  his 
trial  should  be  ended,  and  he  should  be  confirmed  in 
life  everlasting."'  "The  covenant  of  works  required 
of  Adam  and  all  his  children,  to  '  pay  the  price  them- 
selves' in  consideration  of  which,  they  were  to  receive 
all  the  future  blessings  of  God."'  The  fact  may  be 
noticed,  although  it  is  not  pertinent  to  the  present 
purpose  that  it  should  be  dwelt  upon,  that  Wesley  did 
not  hold  the  doctrine  of  strict  federal  representation. 
All  men  were  in  Adam's  loins.  He  seminally  con- 
tained them,  and  because  of  this  fact  represented 
them.  The  legal  results  of  his  sin  are  derived  to 
them  through  parental  propagation.  How  this  con- 
sists with  a  legal  probation  of  the  race  in  him,  it  is 
impossible  to  see.  Yet,  he  taught  a  covenant  of 
works  in  some  sense,  and  meant,  it  appears,  to  teach 
the  probation  of  the  race  in  Adam.  They  had  a 
"trial"  in  him.  Otherwise  each  would  have  had  to 
answer  for  himself 

In  like  manner  Watson  intended,  it  would  seem,  to 
assert  a  probation  of  the  race  in  the  first  man,  for  he 
contends  that  they  suffer  penally  for  his  sin:  "the 
full  penalty  of  Adam's  offence  passed  upon  his  pos- 
terity."* But  how  a  proper  probation  is  made  out, 
let  the  following  utterances  evince.  Speaking  of  the 
effect  of  the  "federal  connection  between  Adam  and 
his  descendants"  upon  the  latter,  he  says  :  "  By  iin- 
vicdiate  imputation  is  meant  that  x\dam's  sin  is  ac- 
counted ours  in  the  sight  of  God,   by  virtue  of  our 

^Serm.  on  the  Righteous7iess  of  Faith. 
^  Theol.  hist.,  vol.  ii.  p.  67. 

The  Ground  of  Justification.  449 

federal  relation.  To  support  the  latter  notion,  vari- 
ous illustrative  phrases  have  been  used:  as,  that  Adam 
and  his  posterity  constitute  one  moral  person^  and 
that  the  whole  human  race  was  in  him,  its  head,  con- 
senting to  his  act,  etc.  This  is  so  little  agreeable  to 
that  distinct  agency  which  enters  into  the  very  notion 
of  an  accountable  being,  that  it  cannot  be  maintained, 
and  it  destroys  the  sound  distinction  between  original 
and  actual  sin.''  ^  "It  is  an  easy  and  plausible  thing 
to  say,  in  the  usual  loose  and  general  manner  of  stat- 
ing the  sublapsarian  doctrine,  that  the  whole  race 
having  fallen  in  Adam,  and  become  justly  liable  to 
eternal  death,  God  might,  without  any  impeachment 
of  his  justice,  in  the  exercise  of  his  sovereign  grace, 
appoint  some  to  life  and  salvation  by  Christ,  and  leave 
the  others  to  their  deserved  punishment.  But  this  is 
a  false  view  of  the  case,  built  upon  the  false  assump- 
tion that  the  whole  race  were  personally  and  individ- 
ually, in  consequence  of  Adam's  fall,  absolutely  liable 
to  eternal  death.  That  very  fact,  which  is  the  foun- 
dation of  the  whole  scheme,  is  easy  to  be  refuted  on 
the  clearest  authority  of  Scripture;  while  not  a  pass- 
age can  be  adduced,  we  may  boldly  affirm,  which 
sanctions  any  such  doctrine."  '  "What  then  becomes 
of  the  premises  in  the  sublapsarian  theory  which  we 
have  been  examining,  that  in  Adam  all  men  are  abso- 
lutely condemned  to  eternal  death?  Had  Christ  not 
undertaken  human  redemption,  we  have  no  proof,  no 
indication  in  Scripture,  that  for  Adam's  sin  any  but 
the  actually  guilty  pair  would  have  been  doomed  to 
this  condemnation;  and  though  now  the  race  having 
become  actually  existent,  is  for  this  sin,  and  for  the 

^  Thcol.  Inst.,  vol.  ii.  p.  53.  ^  Ibid.,  pp.  394,  395. 


450     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  A^-minianism. 

demonstration  of  God's  hatred  of  sin  in  general,  in- 
volved, through  a  federal  relation  and  by  an  imputa- 
tion of  Adam's  sin,  in  the  effects  above  mentioned; 
yet  a  universal  remedy  is  provided."  '  All  this  is 
very  curious.  Men  are  condemned  to  death,  spiritual, 
temporal  and  eternal,  for  Adam's  sin;  but  he  was  not 
strictly  speaking  their  representative,  they  were  not 
one  with  him  in  law^  and  they  would  not  have  been 
condemned  to  death  had  it  not  been  for  the  provision 
of  redemption  in  Christ!^  It  were  folly  to  denomi- 
nate this  a  proper  probation.  The  whole  case  is  un- 

The  views  of  Fletcher  seemed  to  have  been  in 
accord  with  those  of  Wesley  and  Watson  with,  as 
usual,  some  peculiar  refinements  of  his  own,  as  the 
following  quotation  will  show:  "We  were  not  less  in 
Adam's  loins  when  God  gave  his  Son  to  Adam  in  the 
grand  original  Gospel  promise,  than  when  Eve  jDre- 
vailed  upon  him  to  eat  of  the  forbidden  fruit.  As  all 
in  him  were  included  in  the  covenant  of  perfect 
obedience  before  the  Fall,  so  all  in  him  were  likewise 
interested  in  the  covenant  of  grace  and  mercy  after 
the  Fall.  And  we  have  full  as  much  reason  to  believe, 
that  some  of  Adam's  children  never  fell  with  him 
from  a  state  of  probation,  according  to  the  old  cov- 
enant, as  to  suppose  that  some  of  them  never  rose 
with  him  to  a  state  of  probation,  upon  the  terms  of 
the  new  covenant,  which  stands  upon  better  promises. 

"Thus,  if  we  all  received  an  unspeakable  injury,  by 
being  seminally  in  Adam  when  he  fell,  according  to 

*  Theol.  List.,  vol.  ii.  p.  400. 

*  This  remarkable  theory  is  subjected  to  a  particular  examination 
in  the  discussion  on  election. 

The  Ground  of  Justification.  451 

the  first  covenant,  we  all  received  also  an  nnspeakable 
blessing  by  being  in  his  loins  when  God  spiritnally 
raised  him  np,  and  placed  him  npon  Gospel  ground. 
Nay,*the  blessing  which  we  have  in  Christ  is  far 
superior  to  the  curse  which  Adam  entailed  upon  us: 
we  stand  our  trial  upon  much  more  advantageous 
terms  than  Adam  did  in  paradise.'" 

Strict  legal  representation,  the  only  competent 
ground  of  probation  proper,  is  here  discarded,  and 
only  such  probation  is  asserted  as  may  be  collected 
from  the  notion  of  a  seminal  union  with  Adam— that 
is,  from  his  parental  headship  viewed  as  representa- 
tive. The  hypothesis  that  we  were  also  seminally 
contained  in  Adam  as  a  restored,  believing  sinner,  is 
something  extraordinary.  Of  course,  if  according  to 
the  law  of  propagation  all  were  condemned  and  died 
in  Adam  sinning,  it  would  follow  that  according  to 
the  same  law  all  are  justified  and  live  in  Adam  be- 
lieving. What  then  of  Cain  and  his  followers?  and 
what  need  of  union  to  Christ?  Is  he  a  third  Adam, 
and  believing  Adam  the  second,  seeing  we  must  have 
been  in  somebody's  loins,  as  redeemed,  and  we  cer- 
tainly are  not  in  Christ's?  Christ  redeemed  Adam, 
in  order  that  a  justified  race  might  be  generatively 
propagated  from  him. 

Under  the  head  of  "The  Original  Probation," 
Pope,  speaking  of  Adam's  relation  to  his  posterity, 
says:  "He  represented  his  posterity;  but  not  as  a 
mediator  between  God  and  them;  and  therefore  the 
ordinance  of  probation  had  not  the  nature  of  a  cov- 
enant. The  so-called  C0VP:NANT  OF  WORKS 
has  no  place  in  the  history  of  paradise." '     ''Qngi_nal 

1  Works,  New  York,  1849,  vol.  i,  p.  284. 
"^Comp.  Chris.  TheoL,  vol.  ii,  p.  13. 

452     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

sin,"  he  remarks,  "is  the  sin  of  Adam's  descendants 
as  under  a  covenant  of  grace.  What  it  would  other- 
wise have  been  we  can  never  know:  there  would  then 
have  existed  no  federal  union  of  mankind."'  Treat- 
ing of  Mediate  and  Immediate  Imputation  he  makes 
this  sweeping  assertion,  in  which  Wesley's  view  is 
consigned  to  the  class  of  unscriptural  hypotheses: 
"Such  speculations  as  these  stand  or  fall  with  the 
general  principle  of  a  specific  covenant  wnth  Adam  as 
representing  his  posterity,  a  covenant  of  which  the 
Scripture  does  not  speak.  There  is  but  one  Cov- 
enant, and  of  that  Christ  is  the  jMediator." -^ 

The  following  passages  from  Raymond  will  show 
how  the  Evangelical  Arminian  theology  is  running 
down  at  the  heel.  "We  feel  no  partiality  for  the 
idea  of  federal  headship  or  representation;  but  with 
proper  explanation,  it  may  be  admitted;  it  is  at  best 
but  a  figurative  illustration,  and  is  of  doubtful  ser- 
vice. Adam  was  the  head  of  his  race,  and  repre- 
sented his  race,  just  as  a  father  is  the  head  and  repre- 
sentative of  his  family.  Consequences  of  the  charac- 
ter and  conduct  of  parents  naturally  accrue  to  their 
children.  .  .  .  But  can  any  man  say  that  these 
disadvantages  are  piinishmenls?  Does  God  consider 
the  children  guilty  of  their  parent's  sins?  Certainly 
not."^  "Adam  was  not  the  race,  nor  did  he  represent 
the  race  in  such  a  sense  that  they  could  be  justly 
doomed  to  eternal  death  for  his  sin."*  "It  is  not 
true  that  the  race,  as  individuals,  stood  their  proba- 
tion in  Adam."^     This  is  followed  by  an  attempt  to 

^Comp.  Chris.  TheoL,  vol.  ii.  pp.  60,  61.  '^  Ibid.,  p.  78. 

^Syst.  Theology,  vol.  ii,  pp.  109,  no.  *Ibid.,  p.  131. 

^Ibid.,  p.  136. 

The  Ground  of  Justification.  453 

prove  that  had  Adam  stood,  there  is  no  evidence  to 
show  that  the  probation  of  the  race  would  have  ter- 
minated happily  in  him. 

Whedon's  views  may  be  gathered  from  the  following 
paragraphs  :  "If  for  the  fall  of  Adam,  or  any  reason 
whatever,  the  whole  human  race  is  born  unable  to  do 
good,  it  cannot,  then,  be  damned  for  not  doing  good."* 
"On  Adam's  sin,  moral  subversion  and  mortality  ob- 
tained full  sway  over  him,  and  so  of  all  his  descend- 
ants by  the  law  of  propagation:  the  law  by  which 
throughout  the  entire  generative  kingdoms,  whether 
vegetable,  animal,  or  human,  like  nature  begets  like 
nature,  bodily,  mental,  and  moral. ""^  "How  does 
the  apostle  mean  that  all  have  sinned?  Theologians 
have  replied,  All  have  sinned  in  Adam.  But  no 
such  phrase  as  sinned  in  Adajn  occurs  in  Scripture. 
The  phrase  In  Adam  all  die  does  occur.  This  does 
not  mean,  however,  that  any  man's  body  or  person 
was  physically,  materially  or  morally  present,  or  so 
incorporated  in  the  body  of  Adam  as  to  expire  with 
him  when  he  expired.  No  more  was  any  person 
present  in  x\dam  to  eat  the  forbidden  fruit  when  he 
ate.  Every  man  dies  conceptually  in  the  first  mortal 
man,  just  as  every  lion  dies  in  the  first  mortal  lion  ; 
that  is,  by  being  subjected  to  death  by  the  law  of 
likeness  to  the  primal  progenitor.  The  first  lion  was 
the  representative  lion,  in  whose  likeness  every  de- 
scended lion  would  roar,  devour,  and  die ;  and  so  in 
him  the  whole  lion  race  die."^  "The  clause  all  /lave 
sinned^  therefore,  means  just  the  saxwe  as  all  sin — thus 
stating  a  fact  which  (allowing  for  volitional  freedom) 
is  as  uniform   as  a  law  of  nature  .    .    .  Not  because 

Comm.  ou  Romans,  ch.  ii.  ^  Ibid.,  ch.  v. 

454     Calvijiism  and  Evangelical  Armiiiianism. 

they  literally  sinned  in  Adam  ;  not  because  Adam's 
personal  sin  is  imputed  to  them,  but  because  such  is 
their  nature  that  in  this  scene  of  probation,  hemmed 
in  with  temptations  on  all  sides,  sooner  or  later  they 
will  sin  ;  and  o-f  whatever  act  a  being  is  the  normal, 
if  not  absolutely  universal,  performer,  of  that  he  is 
normally  called  the  doer;  if  of  j/;/,  then  a  sinner.'*''^ 

First,  It  is  obvious  from  these  views  of  prominent 
theologians  that  no  consistent  doctrine  in  regard  to  a 
probation  of  the  race  in  Adam  can  be  collected  from 
them.  They  are  incapable  of  being  reduced  to  sys- 
tematic shape.  It  is  useless  to  enlarge  upon  this 
point :  the  foregoing  extracts  speak  for  themselves. 
Wesley,  Watson  and  Fletcher  allow  some  sort  of  cove- 
nant with  Adam,  and  a  corresponding  probation  of 
his  descendants  in  him.  Pope  explicitly  denies  a 
covenant.  Raymond  as  expressly  rejects  a  probation 
of  men  in  Adam,  and  Whedon  affirms  that  there  is 
no  proof  from  Scripture  that  men  sinned  in  Adam. 

Secondly,  Wesley  contended  that  perfect  obedience 
was  required  of  Adam  "until  the  days  of  his  trial 
should  be  ended,  and  he  should  be  confirmed  in  life 
everlasting."  This  is  a  curious  statement,  coming 
from  him,  and  one  difficult  of  comprehension.  Did 
he  intend  to  include  in  it  Adam's  descendants?  If 
he  did  not,  he  denied  what  he  admitted — their  proba- 
tion in  him.  If  he  did,  there  are  four  suppositions 
possible.  First,  did  he  mean  by  the  end  of  the  trial 
the  close  of  Adam's  life?  But  had  he  stood,  there 
would  have  been  no  close  of  his  life.  Secondly,  did 
he  mean  the  end  of  a  certain,  definite  period  during 
Adam's  life?     If  he  did,  he  affirmed  the  Calvinistic 

^  Coram,  on  Romans,  ch.  v.  *  Ibid. 

The  Ground  of  Jiistificatioit,  455 

doctrine  and  asserted  the  theory  of  strict  legal  repre- 
sentation. But  how  could  he  do  that,  and  at  the 
same  time  hold  to  a  losable  justification?  Or,  how- 
could  such  a  justification  consist  with  "confirmation 
in  everlasting  life"?  Thirdly,  did  he  mean  by  the 
end  of  the  trial,  the  close  of  each  man's  life?  That 
would  be  tantamount  to  denying  that  each  man,  un- 
der the  first  covenant,  had  a  probation  in  Adam,  a 
thing  which  he  admitted.  Every  man  would  have 
stood  on  his  own  foot.  Besides,  had  Adam  stood  in 
integrity,  how  could  any  man  have  died  ?  If  in  Adam 
as  sinning  they  died,  in  Adam  as  not  sinning  they 
w^ould  have  lived.  Fourthly,  did  he  mean  by  the  end 
of  the  trial  the  close  of  the  whole  Earthly  history  of 
Adam  and  his  posterity,  supposed  to  continue  in  holi- 
ness? That  would  be  attended  with  the  same  diffi- 
culties as  the  supposition  of  the  trial's  terminating  at 
the  expiration  of  a  certain,  definite  period.  More- 
over, how  can  it  be  maintained  that  there  would  have 
been  an  end  of  the  earthly  history  of  Adam  and  his 
descendants,  had  they  remained  holy?  What  proof 
is  there  for  it?  The  expression  sounds  well  in  a  Cal- 
vinist's  ear,  but  what  does  it  mean  in  an  Arminian's 
mouth  ? 

Thirdly,  A  probation  supposed  to  terminate  in  an 
"amissible" — a  losable  justification  would  have  been 
no  real  probation  at  all.  For,  according  to  the  sup- 
position, the  probation  would  have  been  both  finished 
and  not  finished  :  finished  by  justification  ;  not  fin- 
ished, since  justification  might  have  been  lost.  And 
further,  had  Adam  secured  justification  for  his  pos- 
terity, they  might  have  subsequently  lost  it,  for  if 
they   may  lose  the  justification    merited  by  Christ, 

456     Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianism. 

they  surely  may  have  forfeited  that  won  by  Adam, 
If  so,  what  probation  would  have  remained  to  the 
race,  but  one  finished  and  yet  unfinished,  which  is  a 
contradiction  in  terms  ? 

Fourthly,  A  seminal  union  of  Adam  and  his  pos- 
terity, involving  such  a  representative  feature  as  that 
union  would  carry  with  it,  could  have  been  no  proper 
ground  for  a  legal  probation.  Adam  would  have  dif- 
fered from  ordinary  parents  simply  by  the  circum- 
stance of  his  being  the  first  father  of  mankind;  and 
no  one  talks  of  children  having  a  strict,  legal  proba- 
tion in  their  parents.  The  former  are  not  adjudged 
to  temporal  death  for  the  crimes  of  the  latter,  much 
less  to  eternal  death.  Those  writers,  therefore,  who 
hold  merely  to  the  seminal  relation,  and  deny  proba- 
tion, are  consistent.  According  to  the  most  accom- 
plished Evangelical  Arminian  theologians  of  recent 
times,  the  seminal  union  will  not  account  for  legal 
probation  and  its  tremendous  results.  The  fact  is 
worthy  of  attention.  Asserting  the  one,  they  deny 
the  other. 

Fifthly,  The  defect  common  to  all  the  writers  who 
have  been  cited,  is  that  their  doctrine  falls  short  in 
not  affirming  a  federal  headship  of  Adam  involving 
strict  legal  representation,  superadded  by  divine  ap- 
pointment to  a  headship  naturally  belonging  to  the 
parental  relation,  and  implying  only  such  a  federal 
and  representative  element  as  necessarily  attaches  to 
that  relation.  It  is  true  that  some  admit  a  covenant, 
but  it  was  not  such  a  covenant  as  constituted  a  com- 
petent ground  for  the  legal  probation  of  the  race.  As 
the  Calvinistic  view  of  probation  is  denied,  and  as  it 
stands  or  falls  with  the  doctrine  of  the  covenant  of 

The  Ground  of  Justification.  457 

works,  it  behooves  that  proof  be  furnished  of  the  fact 
that  such  a  covenant  existed. 

First,  The  most  prominent  and  conchisive  proof  is 
derived  from  the  fifth  chapter  of  Romans.  It  estab- 
h'shes  an  analogy  between  Christ  and  Adam.  If 
Christ  was  a  representative,  so  must  have  been  Adam. 
The  scriptural  proofs  in  favor  of  Christ's  representa- 
tive character  were  presented  in  the  foregoing  discus- 
sion of  the  Objections  to  Election.  They  will  not, 
therefore,  be  stated  here.  If  it  be  denied  that  Adam 
was  a  representative,  the  only  point  at  which  the 
analogy  holds  between  him  and  Christ  is  obliterated. 
Adam,  although  not  an  instituted  type,  was  a  real 
figure,  of  Christ.  That  is,  although  he  was  not  made 
a  representative  for  the  purpose  of  typifying  Christ  as 
a  representative,  as  Aaron  was  constituted  a  priest 
in  order  to  typify  the  sacerdotal  function  of  Christ, 
yet,  in  consequence  of  the  unity  of  plan  characteriz- 
ing God's  moral  government  of  the  human  race,  which 
from  the  beginning  proceeded  upon  the  principle  of 
federal  representation,  Adam  as  a  representative  was 
an  analogue  of  Christ.  He  was  only  a  type  of  Christ 
by  reason  of  the  fact  that  he  was  a  representative  of 
his  seed,  as  Christ  is  of  his.  In  this  respect  there  is 
a  parallelism  between  the  first  and  second  Adam,  in 
others  an  antithesis.  The  passage  affords  a  brief,  but 
pregnant,  proof  of  the  representative  character  of 

But,  if  Adam  were  a  representative,  it  is  clear  that 
he  must  have  acted  under  a  covenant.  In  what  other 
way  could  he  have  been  constituted  a  representative 
of  his  posterity?  His  concreated  relation  to  a  naked 
dispensation  of  law  could  not  account  for  the  fact. 

45S     Calvinisjii  and  Evangelical  Armmianism. 

He  would  have  been  obliged  to  answer  for  himself 
alone,  so  far  as  the  judicial  results — the  reward  or 
punishment — of  his  conduct  were  concerned.  It  may 
be  urged  that  as  God  made  him  by  creation  a  parental 
head,  there  was  no  need  of  the  superaddition  of  cove- 
nant headship  to  constitute  him  a  representative. 
This  point  has  already  been  elaborately  argued,  but 
it  is  briefly  replied  here : 

In  the  first  place,  he  was  not  made  simply  a  paren- 
tal head.  The  proof  is  plain.  Christ  was  not  simply 
a  parental  head,  and  as  Adam  was  a  type  of  Christ  he 
could  not  have  been.  As  Christ  certainly  was  not 
carnally  a  parental  head,  there  is  no  analogy  in  that 
regard  ;  and  as  he  is  spiritually  a  parental  head  by  a 
supernatural  and  sovereign  influence,  it  is  hard  to  see 
how  the  likeness  obtains  in  that  respect.  It  remains 
that  the  analogy  is  grounded  in  a  federal  and  repre- 
sentative headship  different  from  parental. 

In  the  second  place,  if  Adam  had  stood  and  been 
justified  as  a  mere  parental  head,  and  not  as  a  federal 
and  representative  head,  his  justification  would  not 
have  secured  the  justification  of  his  seed  ;  for  the 
righteousness  of  a  parent  cannot  ensure  the  standing 
in  righteousness  of  his  children.  According  to  the 
supposition  that  Adam  was  not  a  federal  head  and 
legal  representative  appointed  under  a  constitution 
different  from  the  act  by  which  he  was  created  a 
parent,  each  one  of  his  posterity  would  have  stood 
upon  his  own  foot  in  law,  and  consequently  the  stand- 
ing of  each  would  have  been  contingent  upon  his 
own  personal,  conscious  obedience.  Arminians  them- 
selves acknowledge  the  forensic  character  of  justifica- 
tion.    The  same  must  be  true  of  condemnation.     The 

The  Ground  of  Jicstification.  459 

propagative  channel  alone  will  not  account  for  the 
derivation  of  either.  A  good  child  is  not  punished 
for  his  father's  crimes  ;  nor  is  a  bad  child  rewarded 
for  his  father's  virtues.  And  as  it  is  a  fact  that  a 
child  of  good  dispositions,  humanly  speaking,  is 
sometimes  born  of  a  bad  parent,  and  a  child  of  bad 
dispositions  of  a  good  parent,  it  is  evident  that  the 
seminal  principle  is  not  adequate  to  meet  the  de- 
mands of  the  case.  The  universal  and  undeniable 
fact  of  native  depravity  clearly  proves  guilt  in  the 
progenitor  of  the  race,  descending,  in  consequence  of 
a  representative  and  not  a  merely  parental  headship, 
to  those  who  were  his  legal  constituents,  and  not 
merely  the  fruit  of  his  loins. 

But  if  it  be  admitted,  it  may  be  suggested,  that 
Adam  was  a  representative  as  well  as  Christ,  it  is  not 
proved  that  his  posterity  would  have  been  justified  in 
him,  on  the  supposition  that  he  had  stood  and  been 
justified.     It  is  proved,  because: 

There  could  have  been  no  meaning  in  his  being 
constituted  a  Representative  of  his  seed,  had  not  the 
possible  justification  of  them  through  his  acts  been  a 
consequence  of  the  appointment. 

Further,  his  condemnation  involved  the  condemna- 
tion of  his  seed.  Pai'i  rati07ie^  his  justification  would 
have  involved  theirs. 

Again,  the  obedience  of  the  second  Adam  secured 
the  justification  of  his  seed.  The  principle  is  the 
same  in  both  cases.  • 

The  same  view  is  presented,  though  not  so  ex- 
pressly, in  the  fifteenth  chapter  of  First  Corinthians 
and  the  second  chapter  of  Hebrews.  The  death  of 
all  in  Adam  and  the  life  of  all  in  Christ  depend  upon 

460    Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Arminianisni. 

the  operation  of  the  same  principle.  Now  it  is  cer- 
tain that  men  do  not  live  becanse  they  were  seminally 
contained  in  Christ.  To  say  that  they  were  in  his 
loins  were  to  blaspheme.  Neither,  then,  the  analogy 
holding,  do  men  die  becanse  of  a  seminal  connection 
with  x\dam.  x\  federal  and  representative  nnion  is 
necessitated,  and  that  snpposes  a  covenant  originating 
in  the  constitutive  and  appointing  prerogative  of  God. 
It  is  nothing  short  of  an  impeachment  of  the  moral 
government  of  God  to  assert  that  men  die  morally 
and  spiritually,  or  die  at  all,  in  Adam,  just  as  all  lions 
die  in  the  first  mortal  lion — that  the  seminal  relation 
accounts  for  both  classes  of  facts.  The  Scriptures 
explicitly  declare,  in  regard  to  man,  that  "the  w^ages 
of  sin  is  death,"  that  "by  one  man  sin  entered  into 
the  world,  and  death  by  sin."  Infants  die  before  they 
consciously  sin.  Their  death  is  the  wages  of  sin.  Of 
what  sin  ?  Not  their  own  conscious  sin,  unless  they 
die  in  anticipation  of  it,  as  if  a  man  were  hanged  for 
prospective  murder.  Of  another's  sin,  therefore. 
How?  As  young  lions  die  because  the  old  lion  died? 
Is  the  death  of  young  lions  the  wages  of  an  old  lion's 
sin?  See,  what  the  seminal  principle  of  Wesley, 
Watson  and  Fletcher  comes  to  in  the  hands  of  Whe- 
don  !  No,  death  is  a  judicial  infliction  in  consequence 
of  the  sin  of  a  legal  representative  acting  under  a 
legal  covenant,  and  its  penal  element  can  only  be  re- 
moved in  consequence  of  the  obedience  of  another 
and  a  better  Representative  under  another  and  a  bet- 
ter covenant. 

The  second  chapter  of  Hebrews  proves  the  neces- 
sity of  the  incarnation  of  the  Son  of  God,  of  a  com- 
munity of  nature  between  him  and  his  brethren,  the 

The  GroiDid  of  Jitstijication.  461 

seed  of  Abraham.  Why  this  necessity?  That  he 
might  be  of  the  same  blood  with  his  seed,  inasmuch 
as  the  first  Adam  was  of  the  same  blood  with  his. 
The  principle  of  representation  is  probably  broad 
enough  to  admit  of  an  application  in  every  case  in 
which  the  subjects  of  government  may  be  logically 
collected  into  unity;  but  Christ  as  the  representative 
of  his  human  seed  behooved  to  be  made  like  unto 
them  by  taking  their  nature,  because  the  first  repre- 
sentative of  men,  Adam,  sustained  that  relation  to 
them.  The  representative  must,  in  this  instance,  par- 
take of  the  nature  of  the  represented  because  of  the 
Adamic  law.  This  settles  the  question  that  both 
Christ  and  Adam  were  representatives.  The  law  of 
representation  proceeding  by  the  tie  of  race  controlled 
both  cases.  This  evinces  the  difference  between  a 
merely  seminal  union,  and  a  representative  union. 
Christ  was  not  a  seminal  head  of  his  people,  as  was 
the  first  Adam  of  his  posterity.  In  that  respect 
therefore  the  second  Adam  did  not  conform  to  the 
law  of  the  first.  It  was  in  the  fact  that  they  were 
representatives  that  a  common  principle  obtained. 
Now  as  Christ  acted  as  a  representative  under  the 
economy  of  a  covenant,  so  likewise  must  Adam. 

Secondly,  There  could  have  been  no  justification 
without  a  covenant.  Had  no  covenant  existed  limit- 
ing the  time  of  probation,  the  demand  of  the  naked 
law  would  forever  have  been.  Do  and  live;  and  the 
promise.  As  long  as  you  do,  you  shall  live.  Proba- 
tion would  necessarily  have  been  everlasting,  unless 
closed  by  sin,  and  justification  involving  confirmation 
in  holiness  and  ha])piness  unattainable.      But 

In   the   first    place,    God   promised   justification    to 

462      Calvinism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism. 

Adam  as  the  reward  of  obedience,  because  he  prom- 
ised him  life  as  that  reward.  It  is  scarcely  snpposa- 
ble  that  God  promised  not  to  kill  Adam,  or  not  to 
allow  him  to  die,  as  long  as  he  continued  obedient. 
It  would  have  been  a  necessar}'  inference  from  the 
character  of  God  and  of  man's  relation  to  him,  that 
he  would  preserve  the  existence  of  an  obedient  and 
loving  subject.  If  any  conclusion,  however,  could  be 
collected  from  the  threatening,  In  the  day  thou  eatest 
thereof  thou  shalt  surely  die,  bearing  the  nature  of  a 
promise  it  would  simply  be  a  promise  of  exemption 
from  death,  or  the  continuance  of  existence.  This  is 
not  the  highest  and  most  significant  sense  in  which 
the  Scriptures  employ  the  term  life^  as  might  be 
evinced  by  numerous  passages.  In  connection  with 
the  enjoyment  of  God's  favor  it  is  used  to  signify 
perpetual,  indefectible  w^ell-being:  it  is  life  everlast- 
ing. That  God  promised  this  kind  of  life  to  Adam 
in  the  event  of  his  continuing  obedient  during  the 
time  of  probation  assigned  him,  is  conclusively  shown 
by  the  consideration  that  as,  according  to  the  Scrip- 
tures, there  was  an  analogy  betw^een  Christ  and 
Adam,  the  life  promised  to  Christ  on  condition  of 
obedience  must  have  been  the  same  in  kind,  however 
different  in  degree  of  fulness,  with  that  which  was 
promised  to  Adam  in  case  he  stood  his  trial.  But 
the  life  promised  to  Christ  and  in  him  to  his  seed  was 
everlasting  life.  That  supposes  justification.  As, 
therefore,  God  promised  justification  to  Adam,  a  cov- 
enant is  proved:  since  without  a  covenant  justifica- 
tion would  have  been  impossible. 

In    the  second   place,  the   analogy  between   Christ 
and  Adam  directly  proves   that  justification  was  the 

The  Ground  of  Justification.  463 

reward  promised  to  Adam,  As  it  certainly  was 
promised  to  Christ,  so  must  it  have  been  to  Adam. 
Otherwise  there  is  no  analogy  between  the  two.  A 
covenant  with  Adam  is  thus  clearly  proved  to  have 

It  has  thus  been  shown  that  all  men  had  a  legal 
probation  in  Adam  as  their  legal  representative  under 
the  covenant  of  works.  As  their  representative 
failed  in  standing  the  trial,  they  all  failed  in  him, 
and  are,  therefore,  no  longer  in  a  state  of  legal  proba- 
tion. There  is  no  possibility  of  their  obeying  the 
law  in  order  to  justification.  How,  in  themselves 
and  by  their  own  efforts,  can  the  condemned  be  justi- 
fied? "Therefore,  by  the  deeds  of  the  law  shall  no 
flesh  be  justified  ;  for  by  the  law  is  the  knowledge  of 

Secondly^  The  question  next  arises,  What  is  the 
probationary  relation  which  men  now  sustain  to  the 
government  of  God?  Upon  this  subject  the  Calvin- 
istic  doctrine  is  :  that  by  virtue  of  a  covenant  between 
God  the  Father  and  God  the  Son,  the  Son  was  ap- 
pointed the  Federal  Head  and  Legal  Representative 
of  those  sovereignly  elected  by  the  Father  to  be  re- 
deemed ;  that  the  Son  accepted  the  commission,  be- 
came incarnate,  and  undertaking  to  fulfil  the  covenant 
of  works  which  Adam  had  failed  to  keep,  as  well  as 
to  satisfy  the  justice  of  God  for  its  infraction,  per- 
fectly obeyed  the  law  in  its  precept  and  its  penalty,  in 
his  life  and  in  his  death,  in  the  place  of  his  seed,  and 
rose  again  for  their  justification  ;  and  that  thus  their 
legal  probation  was  finished  in  him  :  they,  as  sinners, 
being  convinced  of  sin  by  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  by 
him    persuaded    and    enabled    to   renounce    all    legal 

464     Calviiiism  and  Evangelical  Anninianism. 

efforts  to  secure  acceptance  with  God,  and  simply  to 
believe  in  Jesus  Christ  as  the  condition  of  their  actual 

There  is  also,  in  consequence  of  the  indiscriminate 
offer  of  salvation  to  all  who  hear  the  gospel,  what 
iiia\-  be  termed